Julius Caesar is pleased to present a dual exhibition of paintings by Celeste Rapone and Jenn Smith opening this Friday from 7-10 PM.
Celeste Rapone’s paintings investigate nostalgia and projected images of coping as a means of addressing doubt. Each painting begins with a question evoking a possible future scenario; the physical process of painting considers how that narrative manifests. Developed through a series of their own formal questions and decisions, her portraits of uncertainty and remedy act doubly as a metaphor for painting itself.
Rapone was born in 1985 and raised in Wayne, New Jersey. She received her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2007 and her MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2013. Most recently, her work has been exhibited at Zolla/Lieberman Gallery in Chicago, Steven Zevitas Gallery in Boston, Elizabeth Houston Gallery in NYC, and the Georgia Museum of Art. Her work has been featured in New American Paintings, Make/Shift Magazine, New City, and The Georgia Review. Rapone currently teaches in the Visual Arts Department at the Chicago High School for the Arts and the Painting and Drawing Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Jenn Smith’s paintings grapple with her early life as an evangelical Christian in the rural Midwest. Angels, aliens, cornfields, Christian crafts and puppetry, the Rapture, and the Holy Ghost interact, mutate, are obstructed, and sometimes merge with abstract forms and structures, resulting in an unsettling body of work imbued with an immutable sense of humor.
Smith lives and works in Chicago. She received her MFA from SAIC in 2016 and her BS from Illinois State University in 2001. A selection of recent exhibitions include Visible and Permanent, Carrie Secrist, Chicago, IL; Overview, SAMUEL Gallery, Chicago, IL; Name in Vain, the Back Room at Kim’s Corner Food, Chicago, IL; iDon’t, Slow, Chicago IL; God Gives Us Food, cornerstore, Chicago, IL; and Surface Layers, Samuel Gallery, Chicago, IL.