Blood, Sweat, and Tears, 2020
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO
Link to Exhibition
In Blood, Sweat, and Tears, artist Summer Wheat’s vibrantly colored paintings depict a community of heroic females doing the “heavy lifting and running things.” Using an inventive process of pushing paint through aluminum mesh, Wheat’s large-scale paintings resemble medieval tapestries showing female figures as hunters, fishers, and beekeepers. These women rewrite historical imagery through themes such as labor, discovery, and expressions of joy where traditionally only men were present.
Introducing the technical progression of Wheat’s work over the last three years and debuting new paintings and drawings, this exhibition further emphasizes the relationship between drawing, painting, and sculpture. Beginning with drawings referencing inspiration from a broad spectrum of art historical references, ranging from Egyptian pictography to Native American imagery, from French Post-Impressionism to American Pop Art, Wheat questions the history of these narratives by proposing a contemporary perspective. She translates these drawings into brilliantly colorful, thickly encrusted paintings that appear almost sculptural as they bend slightly away from the wall like a tapestry. This exhibition is a milestone for Wheat as she continues to be inventive with her process and the reauthoring of everyday life.
Blood, Sweat, and Tears is curated by Erin Dziedzic, director of curatorial affairs.