August 5, 2015 (Chicago) – Richard Gray Gallery announces Inquiry’s End, an exhibition of new work by Bethany Collins. This will be Collins’s first solo exhibition in Chicago and the first with the gallery, and is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with an essay by scholar Romi Crawford. The exhibition will run from September 11 through October 31, 2015. An opening reception for the artist will be held on September 11 from 6pm to 8pm.
Bethany Collins, a 2014 Artist-in-Residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem, takes the material of the classroom––paper, Pink Pearl erasers, graphite, old dictionaries and, more broadly, language itself––to create spare, poetically charged works on paper, objects and wall-based installations. Her work is fueled by a critical exploration of how race and language interact. Collins transfers and obscures dictionary definitions, government reports and historical publications to create restrained statements that ring with emotive power. Skin is a recurring motif, surfacing with its synonyms pelt, hide, and peel in the triptych Skin, 1968 (2015). As scholar Romi Crawford writes in her catalogue essay on Collins, “the blackouts, whiteouts, blurs and erasures in her work function as insignia for operatively rebutting the racial ethos embedded in the newspaper and dictionary systems.”
Inquiry’s End features one of the artist’s most challenging works to date: a ninety-one part wall installation titled A Pattern or Practice (2015) that uses inkless embossing to punch portions of the US Department of Justice report on the Ferguson Police Department into blank white sheets of paper, making the findings all but inscrutable to the viewer.
Bethany Collins (b. 1984, Montgomery, Alabama) lives and works in New York and Atlanta. She received her BA in Studio Art and Visual Journalism from the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa in 2007 and her MFA in Drawing and Painting from Georgia State University, Atlanta in 2012. She is the recipient of numerous awards including most recently the Hudgens Prize, a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant and an Artadia Award, and has conducted residencies at the Studio Museum in Harlem and the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts. Her works have been exhibited in solo and group museum exhibitions nationwide, including at the High Museum of Art, Atlanta; the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia, Atlanta; the Hudgens Center for the Arts, Duluth, Georgia; and the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York. Inquiry’s End will be her first solo exhibition with Richard Gray Gallery.