Group Exhibition I The Picture is a Forest: A group show organized by James English Leary

24 May - 29 June 2019

Delphine Hennelly | Kathryn Kerr | Leigh Ruple | Nathalie Shepherd | Faye Wei Wei 


The Picture Is A Forest


To coincide with James English Leary´s exhibition the artist has organized a group exhibition, “The Picture is a Forest” with recent works by Delphine Hennelly, Kathryn Kerr, Leigh Ruple, Nathalie Shepherd and Faye Wei Wei, whose works will be exhibited in Vienna for the first time. The works featured in this exhibition, while sharing strong allegiances to the problem of depiction, exemplify painting’s unique disposition to engage strategies of scale and space in the conjuring of intimacies and immensities.


Delphine Hennelly (Born in Vancouver B.C, 1979) Received a BFA from Cooper Union (2002) and an MFA from Mason Gross School of Visual Arts, Rutgers (2017) Delphine has exhibited across the US and Canada including, a group show titled Parallel Lines, at Pt.2 gallery in Oakland, California, as well as a three person show, Between the Acts, with Ken Tisa and Sophie Larrimore at Mother gallery in Beacon, NY. and a two person show with Mickey McKenna at Projet Pangee in Montreal, Quebec. More recently Delphine participated in a two person show titled History Lessons, with Mimi Jung, at Carvalho Park Gallery in Brooklyn, NY. Delphine is a three time recipient of the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Award and her work has appeared in several publications including Art Maze Mag, The Winter Edition, Issue 6, 2018, and Nut Publication as well as New American Paintings Northeast Issue #134. 


Kathryn Kerr (Born in Los Angeles, 1984) is a New York-based artist. She received her M.F.A. from Yale in 2018 and her B.F.A. from the Cooper Union in 2007. Her paintings are made like a memoir–a notebook of recollections of events, dreams, maps, circumstances, and desires. This results in a body of work that is evocative, a bid to recall, in fluid detail, the events of her past and to dig deep to an authenticity that is a junction of our shared humanity. Kathryn’s work has been shown at White Columns, Karma, LaMama, Rear Storefront, Radical Abicus, The Range, Franklin Street Works, and Magenta Plains, among others. 


Leigh Ruple (Born in Cleveland, 1984) received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from The Cooper Union School of Art (2006) and her MFA from Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts, Bard College (2014).  Ruple's work was recently included in solo exhibitions at PAGE (NYC) and Morgan Lehman (NYC), and group exhibitions at Marlborough Chelsea (NYC), The Suzanne Geiss Company (NYC), and Halsey McKay Gallery (East Hampton, NY). 

Her work has been reviewed by Artforum, Time Out New York, Art F City, and Arte Fuse, amongst others. 

Leigh Ruple’s works navigate the possibilities of figuration through complex spatial arrangements and saturated color, imbuing scenes both observed and imagined with psychological character. Drawing on her rural upbringing, the geometry of New York City, and the legacy of the American Regionalists as inspiration, she uses a vibrant palette to create distinctly contemporary Feminist allegorical paintings.


Nathalie Shepherd (Born in New York City, 1981) received her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and her MFA from the University of New Orleans. Her work has been featured in numerous group shows internationally, including Capturing Time at The Java Project in Brooklyn, NY; Thanksgiving Salon at Tripoli Gallery in Southampton, NY; the Brucennial, curated by Vito Schnabel and The Bruce High Quality Foundation, in New York, NY; Nathalie Shepherd and Rachel Jones at Gallerie im Andechshof, in Innsbruck, Austria; and The Candle Burned at Both Ends at Good Children Gallery, New Orleans, LA. Shepherd has also been a resident at several artist residencies, most recently at Frontispiece Hudson in Hudson, NY and Hewnoaks in Lovell, ME. She currently lives and works in New York City.


Faye Wei Wei (Born in London, 1994) Lives and works in London. Graduated from the Slade School of Fine Art in 2016. Recent solo exhibitions include 'Sweet Bitter, Valentine', SADE Gallery, Los Angeles, USA (2018); 'CFCCA Presents: Faye Wei Wei', Centre For Chinese Contemporary Art, Manchester (2018); and 'Anemones and Lovers', Cob Gallery, London (2017). She has featured in group shows including 'Dreamin' Wild', Keteleer Gallery, Antwerp (forthcoming) (2018); 'NEW WORK PART III: SUBJECT', Cob Gallery, London (2018); 'Rhapsodies', PingPong, Brussels, Belgium (2018); 'Asthenia No. 06', Hot Wheels, Athens (2018); 'The Clarkory Show', Museum Gallery, Brooklyn (2018); 'Into Rapture', Barbara Feinman Gallery, Los Angeles (2018); 'Marzanna, Yours Again', Hot Wheels, Athens (2018); 'To a God Unknown', Mrs. Gallery, Queens (2017); 'Eclectic Dreamers', Siegfried Contemporary, London (2016); Summer Blue, Lychee One Gallery, London (2016), 'Winter In America', Moms Favorite Space, California; and 'FBA Futures', Mall Galleries, London (2017).

Press release

The Picture is a Forest


Gaston Bachelard invokes the forest as a physical corollary to the daydream, since there the intimate touches the immense. The inward self or the limitless world, if measured only against itself, will not yet stir us. It is the juxtaposition of spaces and scales, the quality of the woods fanning out endlessly ahead and yet always close at hand, or of the dream expanding and yet contained, that animates such a poignant experience. Painting too can be understood as producing its effects through dynamic contrasts of space. For example, the nesting of a) the scale of a mark relative to the thing it depicts into b) the scale of the depiction relative to the picture’s frame into c) the scale of the frame relative to the room, your body, and the world. Put more simply, painting is space, but it is odd space, personal space, invented space, impossible, contradictory, wackadoo, and yet deliberate space. Most importantly, it is juxtapositional space — space as metaphor.


The five painters in this show — Delphine Hennelly, Kathryn Kerr, Leigh Ruple, Nathalie Shepherd, and Faye Wei Wei — can be met on such terms with works that derive their effect through metaphors of dynamic space. See the ecstatically elastic perspectives of Leigh Ruple’s paintings, which invoke figures that are simultaneously too close and too far, both engulfed and alienated. Or Delphine Hennelly’s works, which enact an allegory of creative becoming out of faux-loomed foundations as they dissipate (or coalesce) up into atmospheres of pop-Rococo scenery. In Kathryn Kerr’s mysterious pictures the legible commingles with the obscure as lucidly depicted ropes, boards, lashings, stones, and figures are teased against insurmountable bogs and sunbursts of pure abstraction. Nathalie Shepherd’s romantic works invoke the quixotic aspirations of a dreamer who structures future longings through cultivations of past occurrence, an embodiment of poignantly ironic space. And Faye Wei Wei, whose grandly perennial works depict life as an intimate pageant, part dream, part stage play, emphatically social yet wholly personal.


- James English Leary

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