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beneath the color there was the shape

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Chelsea Culprit, Mark Handforth, Marcus Jahmal, Julia Jo

Winter Street Gallery is pleased to present beneath the color there was the shape, a group exhibition featuring new work by Chelsea Culprit, Mark Handforth, Marcus Jahmal, and Julia Jo. Taking its title from an excerpt in Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse, the exhibition highlights four contemporary artists who engage with color through various highly original positions. Through color blocking, monochrome palettes, and intricate layering, the compositions explore themes of performance, movement, the human form, and abstraction. On view from September 2 through October 8, the exhibition opens with a reception on Saturday, September 2, 2023

Julia Jo’s (b. 1991) artistic narrative is imbued with gestural strokes and a rich palette, her compositions seamlessly dancing between ebullient abstraction and figural references. In her latest painting, Invite (2023), layers of brushstrokes veil a face, arms, and hands, enigmatically concealing and revealing these features. The swirl of dynamic marks echo the artist’s painting process, reminding the viewer of the interplay between the artist and the canvas. 

Two candy-colored sculptures by Mark Handforth (b. 1969) create an enchanting visual rhythm within the gallery space, their vibrant hues and graceful lines evoking a sense of fluidity and playfulness. The sculptures optically sway and swoop, while beckoning the viewer to explore a dynamic relationship between form and space.

In the work of Chelsea Culprit (b. 1984) passages of paint move between bodily and abstract forms, at once representing mountains, limbs, or geometric blocks of color. Throughout her practice Culprit has engaged with gender performance and the body. Jane Austin’s line –  “what are men to rocks and mountains” – comes to mind in the artist’s composition of a winged body whose bosom and knees become verdant peaks amidst a golden sky. The concept of performance resonates further in Culprit’s monochromatic blue canvas, where legs curve and pose with one stilettoed and one shoeless foot. 

Blue bodily forms also appear in Marcus Jahmal’s (b. 1990) Seated and Headless (2022). In Jahmal’s art-making, color is channeled experimentally within his flat geometric planes, often contrasting with raw silhouettes. In his painting Abstract Room (2022), an asymmetrical pinwheel of hues and textures suggest tiles, brick, shadows, and other forms, conjuring the interiors of the late Richard Artschwager. Collectively, the artworks within the exhibition enact a choreography of forms and figures, unraveling an intricate interplay between surface and representation.


September 2 – October 8, 2023

Opening reception: Saturday, September 2, 4-7 pm



22 Winter Street




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