Vernacular Interior: Beverly Buchanan, Genevieve Gaignard, Trenton Doyle Hancock, Esteban Jefferson, Devin N Morris, Tajh Rust, Curtis Talwst Santiago, Cal Siegel, Becky Suss

6 June - 20 July 2019 New York

Hales is delighted to announce Vernacular Interior – a group exhibition curated by Adeze Wilford. The exhibition explores home as both idea and physical environment through powerful works by nine artists: Beverly Buchanan, Genevieve Gaignard, Trenton Doyle Hancock, Esteban Jefferson, Devin N Morris, Tajh Rust, Curtis Talwst Santiago, Cal Siegel and Becky Suss


Featuring artists across a variety of mediums, Vernacular Interior explores multifaceted notions of home. Working with the understanding that the concept of a home can have duality, the works in this show will consider a house as a site of sanctuary and respite, as well as being a space that can feel challenging and unwelcoming. Home is a site where there are multiplicities. Domestic bliss and familial strife, economic stability and disparity, and gendered constructs are all part of our interior lives. This show seeks to unpack the symbolism of what a structure means and how a dwelling moves beyond four walls and into a vessel for examining a range of human conditions. 


Situating a home as a space where intimacy is created, the artists in Vernacular Interior present a more inclusive understanding of what a living space can be. These works approach the idea of home as very tangible site as well as a mythologized place. Looking at both urban and rural locations, the spaces depicted in this exhibition show a range of how we live. From Tajh Rust’s life-sized portraits in city dwellings to Beverly Buchanan’s intimate shack sculptures, Vernacular Interior interrogates who gets to build safe spaces and who gets access to our private lives. 


Included are hyperrealist works that aim to portray a specific familial trope, in conversation with works that take a decidedly abstract or fantastic approach to representing a dwelling. Considering building as both a physical place and the act of creating something – a family or a legacy; Vernacular Interior reworks the traditional notion of the “American Dream” of homeownership and instead places the focus on the people and objects that make a home, rather than the edifice itself. 


Homes, like people, can’t be monoliths. They serve multiple purposes and can be full of activity or they can be locations for introspection and solitude. The interiors depicted in this exhibition are varied. They are sites butting up against encroaching outside forces like gentrification and they are exploring architecture meant to evoke power and immovability. Desiring to understand how we populate a home with material objects, bodies and memory, the artists in this show are creating narratives around space and personhood as well as exploring site as a place of significance on both an insular and public facing plane. 


Interested in exploring the way home can be a fraught place and one that is imbued with nostalgia and family ritual, often in the same day, Vernacular Interior brings together several notions of what home could look and feel like, while allowing for the dual experience of softness and tension that activate dwellings when people are invited in. 



Adeze Wilford is the curatorial assistant at The Shed, NY. She was an inaugural joint curatorial fellow at The Studio Museum in Harlem and the Museum of Modern Art, NY. In 2017 she curated Excerpt addressing artists who used text to challenge dominant historical narratives at the Studio Museum and Black Intimacy - a film series at MoMA exploring black love and intimate relationships through the lens of politics. Other curatorial projects include Harlem Postcards F/W 2016/2017 and Color in Shadows, the 2016 Expanding The Walls exhibition at Studio Museum. Prior to this, Wilford was the Public Programs and Community Engagement assistant at the Studio Museum. She graduated from Northwestern University with a BA in Art History and African-American Studies.



Beverly Buchanan (b.1940 Fuquay, NC, USA – d.2015 Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA) graduated from Bennett College, Greensboro, North Carolina with a degree in medical technology in 1962, she went on to gain master’s degrees in Parasitology and Public Heath from Columbia University. In 1971, she enrolled in a class taught by Norman Lewis at the Art Students League in New York and became an artist full time in 1977. Buchanan was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in sculpture in 1980. In 2017, she was the subject of a comprehensive retrospective, Ruins and Rituals, at Brooklyn Museum, NY, and was featured in blockbuster exhibition We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women 1965-85 at Brooklyn Museum NY, which toured to Californian African American Museum, CA; Albright-Knox Art Gallery, NY; and Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, MA. Her work is in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; Georgia Museum of Art, Athens, GA; and Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY.



Genevieve Gaignard (b. 1981 Orange, MA, USA) received her BFA in Photography at Massachusetts College of Art and her MFA in Photography at Yale University. She has been included in exhibitions at Studio Museum in Harlem, NY; the California African American Museum, Los Angeles, CA; and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, AR. In 2017, she was included in the Prospect.4 triennial titled The Lotus in Spite of the Swamp,New Orleans, LA. Her work is in the permanent collections of the Studio Museum in Harlem, NY; California African American Museum, Los Angeles, CA; Pérez Art Museum Miami, FL, USA; the Nasher Museum of Art, Durham, NC; the FLAG Art Foundation, NY; Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, AR; Allen Memorial Art Museum, OH; and the San Jose Museum of Art, CA.  



Trenton Doyle Hancock (b. 1974, Oklahoma City, OK, USA) earned his BA from East Texas State University, Commerce, TX in 1997 and received an MFA from the Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA in 2000. He lives and works in Houston, Texas, USA. 


In 2019, his major solo exhibition, Mind of the Mound: Critical Massopened at Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, which will subsequently travel to Dallas Contemporary, TX. In 2017, he was awarded Texas Artist of the Year, resulting in a celebratory exhibition at Art League Houston, TX. 


Selected solo exhibitions include, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, Missouri; Ringling Museum of Sarasota, FL; The University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum, Tampa, FL; Institute for Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania, PA; Olympic Sculpture Park at the Seattle Art Museum, WA; The Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland; Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, The Netherlands; The Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, TX; The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, TX; The Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami, FL; Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art, IN; the Studio Museum in Harlem, NY; Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, 


Hancock's work is in the permanent collections of several prestigious museums, including the Dallas Museum of Art, TX; The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY; Brooklyn Museum, NY; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA; Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, The Netherlands; and il Museo di arte moderna e contemporanea, Trento, Italy.



Esteban Jefferson (b. 1989) was born in New York, and never left. He received his MFA (2019) and BA (2011) from Columbia University, and has been an artist-in-residence in the Lower Manhattan Community Council's Workspace Program (2016-17) and the Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop's S.I.P. Residency (2015). He has been in exhibitions at Knockdown Center, NY; Wallach Art Gallery, NY; Salomon Arts, NY and the LeRoy Neiman Center Gallery, NY, among others. He has published his own artist books Thoughts on the Residency at McDonald’s, Studio Practice, and Public Space (2016) and One Week Book (2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 editions), and the collaborative book And Here (2018), with Katie Giritlian, published by Nicole Kaack and Mira Diyal. In 2018, Jefferson was shortlisted for the XL Catlin Art Prize USA.



Curtis Talwst Santiago (b. 1979, Edmonton, Alberta) studied as an apprentice of Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun. Santiago has exhibited internationally at venues such as The FLAG Art Foundation, New York, NY; The New Museum, New York, NY; The Eli and Edythe Broad Museum at Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI; the Institute of Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA; the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan, Canada; The Pérez Art Museum Miami, Miami, FL; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada; and the SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah, GA; among others. The artist was included in the SITE Santa Fe SITELines.2018 Biennial, Casa Tomada, in Santa Fe, NM and was featured in the 2018 Biennale de Dakar in Dakar, Senegal. He was also a featured artist on the CBC documentary series, “In the Making” which showcased his study and work in Portugal last year in a full length episode on Canadian television. His work is in the permanent collection of the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY. Santiago has spent the last year living and working between Lisbon, Toronto and New York.



Tajh Rust (b.1989 in Brooklyn, NY, USA) Graduated in 2011 from Cooper Union, NY with a BFA in painting and film. He is currently a 2019 MFA at Yale - he lives and works in New Haven, CT. Selected exhibitions include August Wilson African American Cultural Center, Pittsburgh, PA; Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts, Brooklyn, NY; Bronx Art Space, Bronx, NY; Stems Gallery, Brussels, Belgium; Artspace, New Haven CT; De Buck Gallery, New York, NY; Green Hall Gallery, New Haven, CT; Rush Arts Philadelphia, PA; Welancora Gallery, Brooklyn, NY; and Fridman Gallery, New York, NY. 



Cal Siegel (b. 1987 West Newbury, MA, USA) received a BA in Studio Art and Media Studies from Pitzer College, Claremont, CA in 2010 and in 2015 he attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, ME. He lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. His artist book with Sable Elyse Smith, …In That Empire,was published by Pacific Publications in 2019. Selected exhibitions include CUE Art Foundation, New York, NY; Outside Gallery, North Adams, MA; Anahita Gallery, Tehran, Iran; Touch Gallery, Cambridge, MA; Dowling Walsh Gallery, Rockland, ME; David Zwirner, New York, NY and Left Field Gallery, San Luis Obispo, CA.



Devin N Morris (b. 1986, Baltimore, MD) studied Fashion Merchandising at University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Princess Anne, MD and Journalism and New Media, Towson University, MD. He lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. In 2018, Morris was selected for The Aesthetics of Matter- the curatorial project by Duex Femme Noires: Mickalene Thomas and Racquel Chevremont, presented at VOLTA, New York, NY. In 2017, he was named by Time Magazine as one of “12 African American Photographers You Should Follow.” Morris is the founding editor of 3 Dot Zine. He has been in numerous exhibitions, including The New Museum, New York, NY; AC Institute, New York, NY; MoMA PS1, New York, NY; Yale School of Art, New Haven, CT; Terrault Contemporary, Baltimore, MD; High Tide Gallery, Philadelphia, PA; Lubnov, NY; and George Washington University, Washington, DC. His work is currently on view at KMAC Museum, Louisville, Kentucky, KY. 



Becky Suss (b. 1980 Philadelphia, PA) received a BA from Williams College, MA and an MFA from University of California, Berkeley, CA. In 2013, she attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. She lives and works in Philadelphia, PA. Selected exhibitions include The Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania; The Galleries at Moore, Moore College of Art and Design; Vox Populi; Space 1026; and Icebox Project Space, all Philadelphia, PA; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA; The Berman Museum, Collegeville, PA; Salisbury University Art Gallery, MD; The Front Space, New Orleans, LA; Berkeley Art Museum, CA; Root Division, San Francisco, CA; Fralin Art Museum, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA; and John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, WI. Her work is in public collections - including Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, both Philadelphia, PA; Davis Museum and Cultural Center, Wellesley College, MA. 

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