Catch and Release, 2018
Shulamit Nazarian Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Link to Exhibition
Summer Wheat’s paintings present a tradition in which women were the original hunters, technologists, and artists, and Catch and Release continues her exploration of this archetype and its many variations. The series depicts women catching and releasing fish as a symbol of fertility, creation, and transformation. In connecting to water and its creatures, the subjects demonstrate an inherent link to natural elements and to the intricate depths of the unconscious.
Wheat’s works arise from an effort to harness paint as a three-dimensional object. From a distance, the paintings appear to be tapestries with a woven or beaded surface, but upon closer inspection the materials are revealed: Paint is pushed through the small openings of aluminum mesh, creating a soft, textile-like form that also evokes the pixelation of digital images.
The women in the paintings are connected by dense geometric patterns that explore psychological spaces, and the many narratives within each painting coalesce into one. Drawing on numerous rich art historical traditions—from Egyptian relief sculptures to Modernist painting—Wheat’s work destabilizes material boundaries and monumentalizes quotidian life through scale and movement.