Chloe Wise Lola Considering Enjoying Freedom, 2020 Oil on canvas © Chloe Wise – Courtesy of the Artist and Almine Rech – Photo: Chloe Wise.
Second Nature is an online exhibition of new paintings by Chloe Wise, on view until Thursday August 13th, 2020.
The late French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu intervened within the discourse of consumption habits in his landmark study Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgment of Taste (1979), a text that is essential reading for the lovers and collectors of Chloe Wise’s work.
Chloe Wise Hans and Pluto, 2020 Oil on canvas © Chloe Wise – Courtesy of the Artist and Almine Rech – Photo: Chloe Wise.
Wise’s work is formally and conceptually diverse, yet identifiable through its recurring symbols. Whether it is her bricolaged figurative paintings with modernist and postmodernist points of reference, delightfully anachronistic video performances, or food sculptures that look like hyperreal midcentury curiosities from a grandparents’ cottage, Wise emphasizes the joys of the everyday. The everyday is not necessarily ordinary, Wise’s work reminds us; our shared cultural moments of absurdity are a historical throughline in her oeuvre.
Second Nature focuses on small scale micro portraits, a departure from Wise’s larger scale group paintings. Wise’s first digital show, an experiment in widespread accessibility where space is further collapsed, is an outcome of a health and geopolitical crisis that has compelled us to question our own values, pleasures, and desires.
It can be argued that the ongoing pressure for cultural relevance in the arts and humanities is a consequence of neoliberalism, the logic of the free market is imposed on artists who strive to balance conformist modes of discipline with experiential diversity. In this global moment where many are closely evaluating the contours of identity, violence, microaggressions, dog whistling, and the systemic mistreatment of people embodying various categories of identity, it is easy to succumb to the urge to politicize anything. In other words, getting lost within competing tensions and antagonisms could take up all of our days and evenings.
A Long Walk In Nurture, 2020 Oil on linen © Chloe Wise – Courtesy of the Artist and Almine Rech – Photo: Chloe Wise.
Politicization is an urgent and necessary conversation, but Wise also urges us to study the nuances of formal details, like a glass of water that is given the same attention as a vividly hued portrait, occupying a space that is both dystopian and optimistically camp. Wise’s attention to a vast array of moments both banal and beautiful reminds us of the fragmented plurality of this fraught moment in our collective imaginaries. – Kristen Cochrane
Chloe Wise Second Nature Explore Online! presented by Almine Rech
About the Artist
Chloe Wise’s practice spans diverse media, including painting, sculpture, video and installation. Foregrounding an interest in the history of portraiture, Wise examines the multiple channels that lead to the construction of a Self, paying particular attention to the interweaving of consumption and image making. With a wry sense of humour, she nods to canonical tableaux, like Manet’s Déjeuner Sur L’Herbe, exploring the shared projected desires built around food and the female body. Meticulously hand painted casts of food serve as the base for the artist’s sculptural practice where strange assemblies, now frozen in sculpted plastic, toy with the presence and absence of unchangeability and perishability, fiction and reality. Advertising, fashion, taboo, multi-national brands—Wise looks to the consumptive habits built around these structures with parody and derision, underlying how the body is framed and becomes excessive in its manipulation of these sites. @chloewise_