Aug 25th 2019

Roni Packer: Consider Pink (and Others’ Great Yellows)

@ Basement

836 W Cullerton St, (Peoria St Entrance), Chicago, IL 60608

Opening Sunday, August 25th, from 12PM - 5PM

On view through Thursday, December 5th

Please join us for the opening of the inaugural exhibition at BASEMENT, a project space, Roni Packer’s Consider Pink (and Others’ Great Yellows), from noon to 5 PM on Sunday, August 25, 2019.

Featuring site-specific works made for the exhibition by Roni Packer, in conjunction with selected works from the collection of Scott J. Hunter, curated by Packer.

Roni Packer works with color in a way that might be viewed as obsessive (and maybe it is). Yellow, in particular, has been her preoccupation in the studio as both friend and foe—though she’s recently ventured into pink.

Roni has said that yellow is the only color she really notices as she moves through the world. Lemons, the sun, highway medians, bananas, eggs (which she dislikes), corn (which she only likes when it’s been popped and is no longer yellow at all). Yellow is Mine (Not my Yellow) is the title of a previous solo show. It’s a proclamation that’s both bold and anxious, proud and unresolved. It claims and simultaneously qualifies, giving Roni room to change her mind, to be critical and dissatisfied and excited again. Perhaps yellow does feel like hers at some moments, long enough to be temporarily sure of something, before it’s a new day and the light hits things differently. Remember, color and paint are not the same. It’s always a negotiation.

Yellow isn’t an easy color to love, but easy love wouldn’t be Roni’s objective in the first place. In fact, the difficulty of yellow is exactly the point. Not quite that yellow, maybe more of this yellow. It’s never just yellow. Color is only what light reveals, but of course, it isn’t just that, is it? It’s not a fragile thing. Color does something out in the world, and what exactly that is and can be is what keeps Roni painting.

Roni’s fixation on yellow, while facing the power dynamics of ownership, is being set aside here. For the first show at Scott Hunter’s new space, Basement, she is searching for the yellows of others. Using Hunter’s collection, Roni has amassed yellow moments while omitting her own yellow works and presenting pinks instead. I tease her that she’s “growing up.” As children, most of us were taught to share. It isn’t always easy, even as we get older. In Consider Pink (and Others’ Great Yellows), Roni is willing to negotiate this growing pain (with no promise that it’ll stick), driven by a hunch that fleshy pink holds something internal, serving the yellow she’s come to know.

curated by Elizabeth Lalley

An essay by Lalley will accompany the exhibition.

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