Jessi Reaves at Bridget Donahue

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Artist: Jessi Reaves

Venue: Bridget Donahue, New York, US

Date:  April 10 – June 5, 2016

Photography: all images courtesy of the artist and Bridget Donahue, NYC

Bridget Donahue is proud to present the first solo exhibition by Jessi Reaves featuring chairs, tables, cabinets, shelves and other objects suitable for use. Reaves’ works are wildly constructed from plywood, sawdust, foam, wood, car parts and plexiglass and finished with silk, leather, zippered covers and glass. Her materials are unassuming and sometimes involve elements of found furniture re-arranged anew. Irrational and imperfect, their human scale and materials reference historical and archetypal forms.

Reaves replaces stylistic details you might otherwise associate with craft, such as carving, inlay, exotic wood grain, joinery or tufting, with her own methods and flourishes. Transparency is manifest in both the direct contact the viewer has with foam, a material that is typically concealed by upholstery, as well as with other often see-through fabrics such as mesh, silk, glass and plexiglass. Reaves’ construction techniques are improvised, drawing upon rudimentary building and stitching knowledge. The marker lines that guide her while cutting wood or foam may or may not determine the final shape, but remain visible. Mixing studio sawdust with glue, a woodworkers’ trick used to repair imperfections, here, is used to emboss lumpy forms on the surface of plywood. Reverse carving is used on its own to cast solid parts or to strengthen a particular structural element. While built extemporaneously the resulting objects are open to categorization.

Jessi Reaves (b. 1986 in Oregon, lives and works in New York) received her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2009. Her work has been included in group exhibitions such at Ludlow 38, Swiss Institute, Bed Stuy Love Affair, Shoot the Lobster in New York and Del Vaz Projects in Los Angeles. Reaves was featured in a solo “Now Showing” project at SculptureCenter in Long Island City, New York.

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Jessi Reaves, installation view at Bridget Donahue, 2016
Copyright Jessi Reaves, courtesy Bridget Donahue, NYC

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Jessi Reaves, installation view at Bridget Donahue, 2016
Copyright Jessi Reaves, courtesy Bridget Donahue, NYC

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Jessi Reaves, installation view at Bridget Donahue, 2016
Copyright Jessi Reaves, courtesy Bridget Donahue, NYC

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Jessi Reaves, installation view at Bridget Donahue, 2016
Copyright Jessi Reaves, courtesy Bridget Donahue, NYC

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Jessi Reaves, installation view at Bridget Donahue, 2016
Copyright Jessi Reaves, courtesy Bridget Donahue, NYC

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Jessi Reaves, Foam Couch with Straps, 2016
Copyright Jessi Reaves, courtesy Bridget Donahue, NYC

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Jessi Reaves, Twice Is Not Enough (Red to Green Chair), 2016
Copyright Jessi Reaves, courtesy Bridget Donahue, NYC

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Jessi Reaves, Muscle Chair (Laying down to talk), 2016
Copyright Jessi Reaves, courtesy Bridget Donahue, NYC

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Jessi Reaves, Rules Around Here (Waterproof Shelf), 2016
Copyright Jessi Reaves, courtesy Bridget Donahue, NYC

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Jessi Reaves and Robert Bittenbender, Crust of the Lake, 2016
Copyright Jessi Reaves, courtesy Bridget Donahue, NYC

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