McClain Gallery presents Cloud Cover, a group exhibition focused on contemporary abstraction and materiality, featuring Edith Baumann, Anne Deleporte, Alteronce Gumby, Hong Hong, Terran Last Gun, and Elaine Reichek. The works in the exhibition propose legibility with or without text or pictorial references; they often point toward color, texture, history, nature, and mythology as cues for meaning.
The exhibition title alludes to both the generosity of abstraction and its inherent ambiguity. In meteorology, Okta is a cloud cover measurement that divides the sky into eighths and momentarily defines something prone to atmospheric change. This area, represented with graphic symbols, becomes a record tied to a specific time and place, bound to change in appearance and essence at every moment. The Okta measurement only indicates sky coverage, not the particular cloud type or density, and is therefore a palimpsest of human perception. The artworks in Cloud Cover are situated in a similar plane of observation: they can equally function as a record of time, presence, atmosphere, and intention.
Elaine Reichek’s embroidered text on linen explores the relationship between language and invisibility, how unseen thoughts are materialized, how words often leave things paradoxically unsaid and thus out of sight, and how the past is threaded into and through the present. Edith Baumann’s paintings balance improvisation with structure. She applies hand-ground pigments in veil-thin, almost transparent layers to yield a surface that highlights her interest in the mysterious and taps into energies influenced by the space and movement between objects, sound, light, and meditation.
Anne Deleporte's practice investigates ideas around disappearance, accidents, chance encounters, and found imagery. The artist's work often relies on process: two newspaper-based works reclaim offcuts from drums and are intrinsically tied to abstract painting and the nature of printmaking. In the Leapling series, she associates the spindle shape (rendered here on paper and in ceramic) with the concept of a manuport as an ancient object.
Alteronce Gumby’s shaped paintings enhance a dialogue between spirituality and abstraction. His heavily textured works are an explosion of concentrated color, and hover somewhere between ethereal and earthen. Hong Hong’s large-scale paper pulp works are made in the course of a day, and always outside. She notes the “exterior pours stage collisions between primordial forces (sky/earth, interior/exterior, day/night), while the terrestrial journeys examine the symbolic qualities of the land and the act of navigation. Soil, like newly formed paper, is a flexible body, whereas the sky seems to be a closed corridor between the known (earth) and the unknown (the universe).”
Terran Last Gun's drawings on ledger book paper merge Piikani art form and imagery within the context of 20th century art movements. He employs a visual language that infuses form and color with indigenous symbolism to create new portals for accessing these histories. Last Gun explains his artwork and the influence of Blackfoot culture as "a visual interpretation of nature, the cosmos, cultural narratives, and recollections in reduced geometric aesthetics and vibrant energetic color harmonies. (...) Piikani or Blackfoot painted lodges are visual masterpieces of the Great Plains and are pre-European invasion classic art. [They] depict the world in which we live, through geometric geological landmarks, figurative animals, and the above world that connects us to Natosi (Sun).”
Cloud Cover opens on September 11, with a reception from 2–4 PM. Please contact us for a preview of the exhibition.
EDITH BAUMANN (b. 1948, Ames, IA) lives and works in Santa Monica, CA. Her paintings concisely balance precision with vulnerability, motion, and natural imperfection. She received her B.F.A. from University of California, Los Angeles in 1975 and completed an M.F.A. in painting at the University of Southern California in 1985. Baumann has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions nationally as well as internationally at Beatrix Wilhem Gallery, Stuttgart, Germany. Parrasch Heijnen has presented two solo exhibitions of Baumann’s work in 2018 and 2020. She was recently included in group exhibitions Eight Ball, Martos Gallery, New York, NY and Emergence: Art and the Incarnation of Space, Martin Museum of Art, Baylor University, Waco, TX. Her work has previously been exhibited in Houston as part of an acclaimed group show Skin Freak curated by Frances Colpitt at Inman Gallery in 2011.
ANNE DELEPORTE (b. 1960, Corsica, France) is a New York-based multimedia artist. True to Deleporte's signature practice of covering up to reveal, her videos, paintings and photos engage themes of identity and enigma. Her large scale murals and video installations have been presented at the Rubin Foundation, New York (2019), FRAC Corsica (2019), Arkad Foundation, Serravezza (2018), the Flag Art Foundation, New York (2017), Musée des Beaux Arts d’Orléans (2016), Maison Européenne de la Photographie (2015), Queens Museum (2014), the Dallas Contemporary (2010), Momenta Art NYC (2010), Museo do Paço Imperial in Rio de Janeiro (2009), Prospect.1 New Orleans (2008), and commissioned by NYC Public Arts (2014). Deleporte has exhibited nationally and internationally at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York; PS1 MoMA; Santa Monica Museum of Art; Shanghai Art Museum; Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne; Tang Museum, New York; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Musée d’Art Moderne de la ville de Paris; and Musée de la Chasse, Paris. In 2013 she was awarded the Peter S. Reed Foundation Grant and she participated in FotoFest, in 2006 and 2014, in Houston. She has had three solo shows at McClain Gallery.
ALTERONCE GUMBY’s (b.1985, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; lives and works in New York City) dynamic paintings subvert traditional representations of light and color. Foregoing the brush or conventional tools of painting, his intensely textured works balance shadow with light, form with material. Diagonals, a recurring motif, infuse his works with forward velocity and temporal fluidity. Gumby graduated from Yale University’s MFA program where he was awarded the Robert Reed Memorial Scholarship, after earning a BFA from Hunter College, New York, NY. In 2019 he was a resident at the Rauschenberg Foundation in Captiva Island, FL and, in 2017 he completed a yearlong residency as the Harriet Hale Woolley scholar at the Fondation des Etats-Unis in Paris, France. He was granted the AAF/Seebacher Prize for Fine Arts as well as the Dumfries House Residency, Ayrshire, Scotland in 2015. Gumby has mounted recent solo exhibitions at Parrasch/Heijnen (Los Angeles, CA), Charles Moffett (New York, NY), and FALSE FLAG (New York, NY). He has exhibited internationally at the Camden Arts Centre (London, UK), Gladstone Gallery (New York, NY), the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center (Washington, DC), Frieze New York, (New York, NY), Long Gallery (New York, NY), Independent Brussels (Brussels, BE), The Jean-Paul Najar Foundation (Dubai, UAE), and the Pizzuti Collection (Columbus, OH), among others.
HONG HONG (b. 1989 Hefei, Anhui, China) currently lives and works in Boston, MA. She earned her BFA from State University of New York at Potsdam (2011) and MFA from University of Georgia (2014). Since 2015, she has travelled to faraway and distinct locations to create site-responsive, monumental paperworks. In this nomadic practice, traditional methods of Chinese papermaking coalesces with painting, monastic rituals, and feminist performances. Hong’s research investigates the voyages of bodies, both plant and human, across borders and between continents. Hong’s work has been included in numerous exhibitions, including solo and group shows at Real Art Ways, Hartford, CT; Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR; Asia Society Texas Center, Houston, TX; Georgia Museum of Art, Athens, GA; Penland School of Crafts, Penland, NC; Lawndale Art Center, Houston, TX; and Jewett Art Center, Boston, MA. She has been invited to create public projects by Center for the Arts at Wesleyan University (Middletown, CT), Art League Houston (Houston, TX), and Artspace New Haven (New Haven, CT). Hong has been awarded residencies and fellowships at MacDowell (2020), Yaddo (2019), Vermont Studio Center (2019), I-Park (2019), and Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (2020 - 2021). Hong is the recipient of grants from Foundation for Contemporary Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, Houston Arts Alliance, Greater Hartford Arts Council, the Edward C. and Ann T. Roberts Foundation, and Connecticut Office of the Arts. Hong currently lives and works in Boston, MA.
TERRAN LAST GUN’s (b. 1989) is a Piikani (Blackfeet) visual artist and printmaker whose work reveals fragments of time, history, and Indigenous Abstraction—an art form that has persisted for tens of thousands of years. Last Gun operates within a process of reclaiming, restoring, and reinvigorating the practice of Indigenous Abstraction, along many of his contemporaries. True to his heritage, Last Gun is creating a new Piikani art form inspired by ancient art, nature, and the cosmos. Sah’kwiinaamah’kaa (Last Gun) was born and raised in Browning, Montana, where the Rocky Mountains greet the Great Plains. As a citizen of the Piikani Nation in Montana— who are members of the Siksikaitsitapii (Blackfoot Confederacy) that includes Siksika, Kainai, and Piikani nations of Alberta, Canada—Last Gun is contributing to an ancient Indigenous North American narrative. Last Gun received his A.S. degree from the Blackfeet Community College in 2011 and his BFA in Museum Studies and AFA in Studio Arts from the Institute of American Indian Arts in 2016. He is a recipient of awards from the First Peoples Fund, 2020 Artist in Business Leadership Fellowship; Santa Fe Art Institute, 2018 Story Maps Fellowship; and the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, 2016 Goodman Aspiring Artist Fellowship. He currently lives and works in Santa Fe, New Mexico
ELAINE REICHEK (b. 1943, Brooklyn, NY) has been working on a critical and feminist reading of historical texts and images for over four decades. The analytical engagement with narratives from myth and literature, and the reflection on their social function as a medium of cultural cohesion, run through the artist’s oeuvre. Textile techniques such as embroidery and knitting as well as conceptual methods, photography, and various printing processes have been central to her practice since the 1970s. Reichek lives and works in New York. She received a BA from Brooklyn College and a BFA from Yale University, and has exhibited extensively since the mid-1970s in the United States and abroad. She has had solo exhibitions at Secession, Vienna; the Jewish Museum, New York; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels; the Tel Aviv Museum; the Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio; Stichting De Appel, Amsterdam; and the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin. Her work is in the collections of New York’s Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum, Jewish Museum, Museum of Arts and Design, and Brooklyn Museum; Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts and Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum; the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Museum, Philadelphia; the Norton Museum of Art, Palm Beach, Florida; the Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas; and the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin, among others. Reichek’s work was included in Art_Textiles at the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, UK, in 2015; Art/Histories at the Museum der Moderne, Salzburg, in 2014; the 2012 São Paulo Biennial in Brazil; the 2012 Whitney Biennial; and the Cheongju International Craft Biennale 2011 in Korea. Her work was on view in Making Knowing: Craft in Art, 1950–2019, at the Whitney Museum of American Art, until January 2021. McClain Gallery first presented her work in a two-part solo exhibition, Between the Needle and the Book in early 2020.