Opening April 28, the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania will present Ginny Casey & Jessi Reaves, an exhibition featuring new and recent works by two artists exploring the relationship between painting and sculpture, domestic objects, and decorative surfaces. The joint exhibition features more than 30 works by painter Ginny Casey and sculptor Jessi Reaves, several of which were created specifically for this exhibition, that image and reimagine the form and function of objects encountered in daily life. On view through August 6, the exhibition is organized by Whitney-Lauder Curatorial Fellow Charlotte Ickes and illuminates each artist’s examination of the space between interior and exterior, surface and structure, dependency and autonomy, inanimate and animate.
Ginny Casey’s paintings present surreal still-life scenes of vases, chairs, fans, hammers, tables, and other things of everyday life. The strange colors and characteristics of these works create an uncanny and, at times, unsettling dissonance at the level of scale, color, and composition. These paintings share a sensibility with the sculptures of Jessi Reaves, who customarily builds on found frames of chairs, couches, and shelves to create sculptural artworks that double as functional furniture. From bulging, stained upholsterer’s foam to patterned and embroidered fabric, the imperfect and ornamented surfaces of Reaves’ sculptures often reimagine functionalist design and lend each object an unexpected animacy that exceeds its original use.
By improvising on intersecting histories of commercial, domestic, and museum displays, this exhibition insists on art’s other life: decorative and functional objects that are used, loved, lived with but also enchanted, erotic, whimsical, and weird.