Fridman Gallery presents a solo booth by Summer Wheat, a site-specific painting installation for NADA 2016.
This project creates a room of forgotten tapestries from the invented parafictional world built around Johannes Vermeer’s "The Milkmaid". The immersive environment of large scale faux jungle-themed images portrays life beyond western society. Wheat explains:
"In the same way that artists, such as Gustave Courbet, challenged the traditions of painting by depicting ordinary people on a monumental scale, this work aims to do the same with the character of the milkmaid. In medieval times, large scale tapestries were hung primarily behind royal thrones and used as symbols of authority. This installation seeks to reassign that notion and use her servitude as a point of departure. The work seeks to re-contextualize her as an individual and depict her newly claimed prominence.
My paintings have always been, in a sense, looking to grasp the form of paint as a three dimensional object, but now the materiality of the work is relating to historical frameworks. Instead of seeing a painting as merely a picture, l look inside the space and seek to find things within the work. What is under the milkmaid's table? What's inside her pocket? To speak of what is real and unreal, thinking of what can be touched and untouched. What resides inside a picture all of a sudden becomes the picture.”
Wheat has constructed projects in the past that refer to Manet’s "Luncheon in the Grass" (Samson Projects, 2012), Magritte’s "Smoking Room" (NADA, 2014) and Vermeer's milkmaid’s "Walk-In Pantry" (Fridman Gallery, 2015).