Alice Tippit, Unspelt

9 Dec 2020 – 16 Jan 2021

Regular hours

11:00 – 18:00
11:00 – 18:00
11:00 – 18:00
11:00 – 18:00
11:00 – 18:00

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"If we survive the teeth, we succumb to the waves."
- Virginia Woolf, Orlando

Nicelle Beauchene Gallery is thrilled to announce Unspelt, Alice Tippit’s third solo show with the gallery and the inaugural exhibition at our new home, 7 Franklin Place. Unspelt will open on Wednesday, December 9 with a daylong reception from 10-6 PM.

For Unspelt, Alice Tippit continues to tangle meaning and evade certainty through her clean, hard-edged oil on canvas paintings. Working towards what she identifies as “a mistaking,” Tippit magics color and form into compositions that suggest many things. Pursed pink lips form a hole for peeping or other acts in Drop (all works 2020), while in Tribe seeds become bite marks that become fangs. Alliances among perceived objects, figures, sensations, or sounds are formed and disbanded within a single look.

The menace lurking behind Tippit’s paintings is language itself: a tether the artist unknots to drift in and out of view through her spare titling. We come to these small works given single words like Vex and VergeBade and Bald, each a vessel of meaning that then splinters on assignment with its associated painting. Tippit welcomes this linguistic uncoupling as a poetic gesture for expanding meaning well beyond the definitions words so desperately cling to.

Several works on paper accompany the paintings on view. Rendered with water-soluble pencils on paper, these even further stripped-down images engage directly with letters as individual units of leaky association.

Describing the works joined together in Unspelt, Tippit offers the following image:

The flood imbues everything. In its wake the ties of meaning are loosened, and in this unmooring there is opportunity. The best one can do in this scenario is try to float; or better: surf.

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Alice Tippit


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