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Kelly Bjork

Nancy Margolis Gallery is pleased to announce Kelly Bjork’s first solo exhibition with the gallery. The show will be on view September 12th through October 26th, 2019.

In her intimate narrative paintings, Seattle-based artist Kelly Bjork depicts candid moments between friends and lovers within tidy, domestic settings. Painted on paper with gouache and pencil, expressive figuration, patterning, and gratifying hues dominate Bjork’s work, confronting the viewer with challenging and amusing imagery. The artist’s pleasure-focused motifs invite viewers to enter a world where conflicts and tensions are simply absent. In their place, figures practice self-care (Cultivating Space, 2019), indulge in leisure (The Oracle, The Witches, Us, 2019), and channel deep intimacy (Anima Rising, 2019).

Small in scale, Bjork’s compositions present rich visual complexity. The artist renders her scenes in precise detail, with studious attention to textures and patterns on walls, furnishings, and surfaces. Hanging tapestries, throw pillows, bed linens, bath towels, electrical outlets, rugs, artwork, and decorated vases are executed with meticulous care. Further, Bjork creates continuity between her paintings with recurring items—a lampshade from her Joshua Tree series, an expressive abstract painting, a hand-stitched quilt, and a pink electric gemstone light, to name a few. The particularity of these objects signals that they are not generic, but exist in a particular location and bear special significance to the artist.

The frank clarity of Bjork’s compositions coupled with the tenderness of her subjects evoke the intimacy of snapshots. Her paintings feature a cast of characters, including representations of the artist herself. Many of the figures who inhabit her scenes are shown nude or caught unawares, comfortably coexisting with one another. Her visual memoirs include a portrait of a friend napping, a glimpse of herself in a bathroom mirror, and a naked man lying supine on a neatly made bed. Bjork’s vignettes of intimacy, comfort, and simplicity within everyday settings offer viewers a welcome respite from the often not-so-blissful realities of our world. Her paintings are easy to fall into, and once immersed, we find ourselves wishing to be guests in Bjork’s home.

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Date

Sep 12 - Oct 26, 2019

Contact

margolis@nancymargolisgallery.com >

Photos

Installation view of Kelly Bjork

Nancy Margolis Gallery, New York

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Installation view of Kelly Bjork

Nancy Margolis Gallery, New York

Artworks

Kelly Bjork > <

Anima Rising

Bedside Teeth

Cleansing

Clemence Cleanse Bratton Bathroom

Cultivating Space

Death + Birth + Death + Birth + Death + Birth

Don't Interrupt the Sorrow

In the Desert Everything Repeats Itself

It's Okay, We're Both Okay

Just Hold On Tight, Cause I Love You

Lift Yourself Out

The Oracle, The Witches, Us

Please Don't Be Surprised When You Find Me Dreaming Too

The Quiet Principal

Self Portrait in Desert Mirror

Wash + Balance Me

You Belong to You

Kelly Bjork > <

Anima Rising

Bedside Teeth

Cleansing

Clemence Cleanse Bratton Bathroom

Cultivating Space

Death + Birth + Death + Birth + Death + Birth

Don't Interrupt the Sorrow

In the Desert Everything Repeats Itself

It's Okay, We're Both Okay

Just Hold On Tight, Cause I Love You

Lift Yourself Out

The Oracle, The Witches, Us

Please Don't Be Surprised When You Find Me Dreaming Too

The Quiet Principal

Self Portrait in Desert Mirror

Wash + Balance Me

You Belong to You

Artists