Gelah Penn's work expands the language of drawing in sculptural space. Recent solo exhibitions include: FURNACE / Art on Paper Archive (Falls Village, CT); Undercurrent (Brooklyn, NY); Baker Center for the Arts/Muhlenberg College (Allentown, PA); Amelie A. Wallace Gallery/SUNY Old Westbury (Old Westbury, NY); Foley Gallery, Bookstein Projects (New York, NY); and ICEHOUSE Project Space (Sharon, CT). Group exhibitions include: Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art (Boulder, CO); Center for Maine Contemporary Art (Rockland, ME); Weatherspoon Art Museum (Greensboro, NC)); Satchel Projects, National Academy Museum, Kentler Int'l Drawing Space, and The Yard (New York, NY).

Penn's work is in the collections of the Weatherspoon Art Museum (Greensboro, NC), Arkansas Arts Center, (Little Rock, AR), Columbus Museum (Columbus, GA), Brooklyn Museum Library (Brooklyn, NY), and Cleveland Institute of Art/Gund Library (Cleveland, OH).

Reviews of her work have been published in The New York Times, The Brooklyn Rail, Art in America, d'Art International, Whitehot Magazine, artcritical,
 and featured in Sculpture Magazine, Art Maze Mag, and Peripheral Vision Press.

Penn has received a Connecticut Artist Fellowship, Tree of Life Individual Artist Grant, and fellowships from the Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program, Yaddo. and MacDowell. She received her BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. After years in New York City, the artist now lives and works in rural Connecticut.

In my site-responsive installations and wall constructions, I work at the intersection of drawing and sculpture. Through cutting, layering, tearing, stapling, and stretching synthetic materials, I foreground internal conceptual and formal dualities: substance and immateriality, cohesion and fragmentation, object and image. My aim is to choreograph events of perceptual incident and psychological unease. My hope is that this conflation of disparate parts — mark, shadow, geometry, gesture, concord, dissonance — results in some sort of vertiginous whole. My interest in film and fiction informs the work.


b. Beaver Falls, PA
Lives and works in rural Connecticut

solo exhibitions


Selections from Notes on Clarissa, Vol. II, The Cornwall Library, Cornwall, CT


Angels with Dirty Faces, FURNACE/Art on Paper Archive, Falls Village, CT

Uneasy Terms, Undercurrent, Brooklyn, NY 

WHITEOUT, ICEHOUSE Project Space, Sharon, CT

Ebb Tide, Odetta/Chelsea, New York, NY 

High Tide, Baker Center for the Arts, Muhlenberg College, Allentown, PA (catalogue)
Situations and Polyglots, Amelie A. Wallace Gallery, SUNY College at Old Westbury, Long Island, NY (catalogue)

Polyglot Y Unhinged, Lori Bookstein Fine Art, Open Window Project, NYC
Double Indemnity + Polyglots, Foley Gallery, New York, NY

Shadow of a Doubt, Carl Berg Projects, Los Angeles, CA

Clash By Night, Real Art Ways, Hartford, CT

The Narrow Margin, Rowan University Art Gallery, Glassboro, NJ

Detour, Kentler International Drawing Space, Brooklyn, NY
Swing Time, Dam Stuhltrager Gallery, Project Room, Brooklyn, NY

On Dangerous Ground, Realform Project Space, Brooklyn, NY


Gelah Penn: New Work, 354 Exhibitions, Brooklyn, NY

selected group exhibitions


Unsayable Lightness, Hudson River Museum, curated by Kate Petley (upcoming)


Beyond the Surface: Constructing Deconstruction, Westbeth Gallery, New York, NY, curated by Vida Gerenmayeh


Mirror Milk, Satchel Projects, New York, NY


Social Photography X, Carriage Trade, New York, NY

Collage/Assemblage, White Rock Center for Contemporary Sculpture, Holmes, NY

Summer, FURNACE/Art on Paper Archive, Falls Village, CT

Chapter II, Tanja Grunert, Hudson, NY


The Stubborn Influence of Painting, Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, Boulder, CO, curated by Kate Petley
Here and There, Cove Street Arts, Portland, ME, curated by David Row
Social Photography IX, Carriage Trade, New York, NY

Winterover, Goldstein Gallery/TSL, Chatham/Hudson, NY, curated by George Spencer

XS, Alfa Gallery, Miami, FL (online)
Booth 07 Online Viewing Rooms, Alfa Gallery, Miami, FL
Art Off-Screen, international online exhibition, curated by Eileen Jeng
Drawing Challenge III, Jason McCoy Gallery, New York, NY
USPS Art Project (traveling exhibition), collaborations, curated by Christina Massey
Social Photography VIII, Carriage Trade, New York, NY

Liz Atz and Gelah Penn: SPLICE, The Yard, New York, NY, curated by Eileen Jeng
Thisness and Whatness, Felician University, Rutherford, NJ, curated by Scott Reeds
Inversions: Contemporary Art Influenced by the Architecture of Louis Kahn, Gallery RIVAA, Roosevelt Island, New York, NY, curated by Melinda Wang 
The Idiosyncratic Pencil Resharpened, Harper Gallery, Presbyterian College, Clinton, SC
Social Photography VII, Carriage Trade, New York, NY

Onyx, Alfa Gallery, Miami, FL
Consciousness, Alfa Gallery, Miami, FL
Flat???, Kentler International Drawing Space, Brooklyn, NY, curated by William Stover
Material, Alfa Gallery, Miami, FL
Beyond Black & White, Westbeth Gallery, New York, NY
The Idiosyncratic Pencil, Harper Gallery, Presbyterian College, Clinton, SC

Materiality: The Matter of Matter, Center for Maine Contemporary Art, Rockland, ME, curated by Bethany Engstrom
2017:1947, Equity Gallery, New York, NY
Give Voice, LMAK Projects, New York, NY
Noir: Defining the Melodrama, Longwood Art Gallery, Bronx Council on the Arts, Bronx, NY

SFAI Alumni Exhibition, Diego Rivera Gallery, San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, CA, curated by Katya Min
Selections from the Collection, Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, NC
PLACE: Monumental Drawings by Dawn Clements, Cynthia Lin, Gelah Penn, Fran Siegel, Equity Gallery, New York, NY

Volume 2: Black & White, Schema Projects, Brooklyn, NY
Diphthong, Shirley Fiterman Art Center of BMCC, New York, NY
Seeing Sound: New Works by Jane Harris, Alex Paik, Gelah Penn,
Odetta Gallery, Brooklyn, NY 
Paperazzi IV, Janet Kurnatowski Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

Global Books, Bibliotheque Municipale Louis Nucera, Nice, France
Plane Talk(ing): Richard Bottwin, Connie Goldman, Gelah Penn, Key Projects, Long Island City, NY
Art on Paper 2014, Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, NC
6018 Wilshire, Edward Cella Art & Architecture, Los Angeles, CA
Large and Small, Kentler International Drawing Space, Brooklyn, NY
Paperazzi III, Janet Kurnatowski Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

The Language of Painting, Lesley Heller Workspace, New York, NY
CONstruct/ConSTRUCT, Clark University, Schiltkamp Gallery, Worcester, MA
Paper, AndrewShire Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Paper, Mirror, Torn, Brian Morris Gallery, New York, NY
Paperazzi II, Janet Kurnatowski Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

Paper Band, Jason McCoy Gallery, New York, NY
Cut Up, Storefront Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY
Morphed, Janet Kurnatowski Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
The Annual: 2012, National Academy Museum, New York, NY (catalogue)
Textility, Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, Summit, NJ (catalogue)
Paperazzi, Janet Kurnatowski Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

Chain Letter, Samson Projects, Boston, MA
Summer Paper, Lori Bookstein Fine Art, New York, NY
2 + 2 = 4, Elizabeth Harris Gallery, New York, NY
On the Wall/Off the Wall, Lori Bookstein Fine Art, New York, NY
Paper 2011, Janet Kurnatowski Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

Off the Wall, Allegra LaViola Gallery, New York, NY
Paper Works, Janet Kurnatowski Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

Gelah Penn, Daniel Brodo, David Brody, Jancar Gallery/Jancar Projects, Los Angeles, CA
Drawing Itself: A Survey of Contemporary Practice, Brattleboro Museum, Brattleboro, VT
Multi[Ply], Middlesex County College, Edison, NJ
UrbanSuburban, Kansas City Jewish Museum, Overland Park, KS
Partners in Art and Life, Brooklyn Public Library, New York, NY, curated by Lynn Saville
Summer Session, Dam Stuhltrager Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
Inside Abstraction, Janet Kurnatowski Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
Degrees of Density, Kentler International Drawing Space, Brooklyn, NY, curated by Marilyn Symmes, Arkansas Arts Center and Columbus Museum
Linear Abstraction, McKenzie Fine Art, New York, NY

Present, Perfect, Continuous, Nurtureart, Brooklyn, NY
The Persistence of Line, Kentler International Drawing Space, Brooklyn, NY, curated by Charlotta Kotik
Your Documents Please, Museum of Arts and Crafts, Itami, Japan (traveling exhibition: Budapest, Berlin, Bratislava, Guadalajara, New York. (catalogue)
Site 92: Phase II, Smack Mellon, Brooklyn NY
The Notion of Line, Alpan Gallery, Huntington, LI

Radius, Metaphor Contemporary Art, Brooklyn, NY
Variations in Black & White, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn, NY

New Works: Chris Martin, Leslie Roberts, Gelah Penn, Holiday, Brooklyn, NY
Major Drawings, Carl Berg Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Parts to the Whole, Vox Populi, Philadelphia, PA, curated by Elizabeth M. Grady

Gyrations, Kentler International Drawing Space, Brooklyn, NY
Project Diversity, Corridor Gallery, Brooklyn NY
New ’05, Nurtureart at Spike Gallery, New York, NY

Drawings: Form, Content, Materials, Delaware Valley Arts Alliance, Narrowsburg, NY
Merry/Peace, Sideshow Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

Momenta Art at White Columns, New York, NY, curated by Eric Heist


Buoys: Marking the Place, Art Initiatives, NYC, curated by Bill Bace (catalogue)


Sculpture Center, New York, NY


Songs of Retribution, Richard Anderson Gallery, New York, NY, curated by Nancy Spero

Sculpture Center, New York, NY


On Paper, Sculpture Center, New York, NY, curated by Peter Hristoff


The Inspiration Comes from Nature, Jack Tilton Gallery, New York, NY


Connecticut Artist Fellowship, 2023

FID Prize Finalist, 2017

Tree of Life Individual Artist Grant, 2016
Yaddo Visual Artist Fellowship, 2014
Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program, 2010-11, Brooklyn, NY
Saatchi Online Magazine Critic's Choices, 2006
MacDowell Visual Artist Fellowship, 1989
selected collections

Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock, AR
Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, NC
The Columbus Museum, Columbus, GA
Brooklyn Museum Library, Brooklyn, NY
Cleveland Institute of Art, Gund Library, Cleveland, OH
Chase Manhattan Bank, New York, NY
Fox Rothschild, LLP, Philadelphia, PA
NV/da Architects, New York, NY/Oaxaca, Mexico
O'Neill McVoy Architects, New York, NY
selected bibliography and press links

Jillian Blackwell. "The Stubborn Influence of Painting," DARIA, Denver Art Review, Aug. 20, 2021

Cohen, David. Fendrich, Laurie. McAdam, Barbara. Trouillot, Terence. "The Review Panel: Discussing Curtis Tawalst Santiago, Willa Nasatir, Gelah Penn, Joanna Poussette-Dart," artcritical, March 11, 2020

WM staff. “Gelah Penn’s Way Into Her Work is Through Materials,” Whitehot Magazine, March 2020

Mendelsohn, John. “Gelah Penn: Uneasy Terms at Undercurrent,” dArt International Magazine, Feb. 25, 2020
Sarah Cascone/Tanner West, "Editors' Picks: 16 Things Not to Miss in NY's Art World This Week," artnet, Feb. 10, 2020

The Menu, Visual Arts. "Gelah Penn On Uneasy Terms," Quiet Lunch, Jan. 28, 2020

"Featured Artists," artmaze mag (London), Autumn Issue #9, 2018

Gleeson, Scott. "Gelah Penn's Dynamics," Peripheral Vision Press, March 9, 2018

McGlynn, Tom. "Dust and Footsteps Shining," Gelah Penn: High Tide, Baker Center for the Arts, Muhlenberg College, exhibition catalogue, October 2017

Schwabsky, Barry. “Nuances Matter,” Gelah Penn: Situations and Polyglots, Amelie A.  Wallace Gallery, SUNY College at Old Westbury, exhibition catalogue, Apr. 2017

Yi, Hyewon, Ph.D. “Constructive Improvisation,” Gelah Penn: Situations and Polyglots, Apr. 2017

Landi, Ann. "Under the Radar: Gelah Penn," Vasari21, March 6, 2017

Artists to Artists, Vol. 2 (2002-2016), Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program, 2016 (catalogue)

Making History Bushwick, Arts in Bushwick, 2016 (catalogue)

Panero, James. "Gallery Chronicle," The New Criterion, Nov. 2015

Corio, Paul. "Seen in New York, September 2015," Painters' Table, Oct. 7, 2015

Mendelsohn, John. "The Ghost in the Machine: Diphthong at the Fiterman,", Oct. 5, 2015
Panero, James. "Gallery Chronicle," The New Criterion, Oct. 2015
Stevenson, Jonathan. "Revitalization by Contamination: Object'hood at Lesley Heller Workspace," Two Coats of Paint, Aug. 2, 2015

Mermall, Madeleine. "Object'hood at Lesley Heller Workspace," Arte Fuse, Aug. 8, 2015

Laster, Paul. "9 Things to do in the NY Artworld Before July 24,", July 20, 2015

Editors. "9 Art Events to Attend in New York City This Week,", July 20, 2015

Russinof, Anne. "Gelah Penn at Foley Gallery," Gallery Travels, June 8, 2015

Silvis, John. "Gelah Penn," What I Am Seeing, Nov. 21, 2014

Scozzaro, Carrie. "Out of the Ordinary: Gelah Penn Uses Unconventional Materials to Make Her Mark," Inlander, Nov. 7, 2013
Cohen, David. "Artcritical Pick: Paper Band at Jason McCoy Gallery,", Aug. 2012

Joy. Christopher; Keeting, Zachary. "Gelah Penn, Feb. 2012," Gorky's Granddaughter, May 3, 2012

Behnke, Paul. "Morphed@Janet Kurnatowski Gallery, Structure and Imagery, Feb. 19, 2012

Price, Marshall N. "Constellation: The 2012 Annual," National Academy Museum, Jan. 2012 (catalogue)

Birmingham, Mary. "Shifting Dimensions in Textility;" Mattera, Joanne. "Material Means: Diverse Practices, Common Threads;" Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, "Textility," exhibition catalogue, Jan. 2012

Samelson, Henry. "Gelah Penn," Buddy of Work, Apr. 7, 2012

"Chroniques," artist Gelah Penn, poet Claude Minière; an artist book project of publisher Gervais Jassaud/Collectif Génération

Hurst, Howard. "Summer in Dumbo: A Visit to the Sharpe Foundation," Hyperallergic, July 6, 2011

Naves, Mario. "Art in Brooklyn. Who Knew?" Too Much Art, June 25, 2011

Contarino, Vince. "The Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation The Space Program Open Studios," KCLOG, Apr. 23, 2011

Rosoff, Patricia. "Gelah Penn: Surface Tensions," Sculpture Magazine, Nov. 2010, Vol. 29, No. 9
Kalm, James. "Off the Wall at Allegra LaViola Gallery," Rough Cuts: YouTube, July 10, 2010

Martin, Karen. "Degrees of Density at Arkansas Arts Center,", July 2, 2010

Barrick, Nicole. "Allegra LaViola Gallery Opens Show with Sculptural Works Attached to the Wall,", June 3, 2010.

Ward, Terry. "Off the Wall at Allegra LaViola," M Magazine, 2010.

Catlin, Roger. "Clash By Night: Shadows Become Art," Hartford Courant, Aug. 20, 2009

Symmes, Marilyn. "Degrees of Density," Kentler International Drawing Space, exhibition brochure, June 2009

Butler, Sharon. “I like line, too,” Two Coats of Paint, Jan. 22, 2009

Wong, Denise. "Present, Perfect, Continuous," Nurtureart, exhibition brochure, Nov. 2008

Kotik, Charlotta. "The Persistence of Line," Kentler International Drawing Space, exhibition brochure, June 2008

Genocchio, Benjamin. "Drawings Set Apart in a World of Lines," The New York Times, Mar. 9, 2008

Budick, Ariella. "Review: Serena Bocchino, Gelah Penn, Art at Alpan," Newsday, Mar. 7, 2008

Frank, Peter. "Gelah Penn: Drawinstallations," Rowan University Art Gallery, exhibition brochure, Jan. 2008

Deliso, Meredith. "Smack Mellon Breaks Out of the White Cube in Dumbo," Brooklyn Heights Courier, January 2008

Miller, Leigh Anne. “Gelah Penn at Kentler and Dam Stuhltrager,” Art in America, Oct. 2006

Frank, Peter. “Major Drawings at Carl Berg Gallery,” Artweek, Apr. 2006, vol. 37, issue 3

Ollman, Leah. “Around the Galleries: Major Drawings at Carl Berg,” The Los Angeles Times, Mar. 10, 2006

La Rocco, Ben. “Gelah Penn, International Drawing Center,” The Brooklyn Rail, Mar. 2006

Schmerler, Sarah. “Gelah Penn: Detour," Kentler International Drawing Space, exhibition brochure, Jan. 2006

Rosof, Libby. “Parts of What’s Up,” Roberta Fallon and Libby Rosof’s Artblog, Jan. 8, 2006

Kalm, James. “Critics Pics: Gelah Penn at Realform Project Space,” Wagmag, May 2005

Bace, Bill. “Buoys: Marking the Place,” exhibition catalogue, 1995

Henry, Gerrit. "Reviews," ArtNews, Nov. 1982

selected artist essays & interviews

George Spencer, producer. arte4a: Gelah Penn (part 2), John Morrell, Jon di Fiore (audio), WGXC, August 3, 2021

George Spencer, producer. arte4a: Gelah Penn (part 1), Katharine Umsted, Chimba (audio), WGXC, June 3, 2021

"Studio tour: Gelah Penn" video, Ely Center of Contemporary Art, Aug. 24, 2020

"Gelah Penn: Art Uncovered with Kimberly Ruth," BTRtoday, Aug. 18, 2020

"A Conversation with Tom McGlynn and Gelah Penn," Undercurrent, April 3, 2020

"Gelah Penn, Uneasy Terms," Undercurrent, Feb. 11, 2020

"Clare Churchouse and Gelah Penn: Cross-Pollination," Expanded Drawing Practices, Feb. 25, 2020

"Gelah Penn: Confounding Parameters," Expanded Drawing Practices, April 27, 2017

"Our Community: Gelah Penn," NY Artists Equity, Aug. 2016

curatorial projects

PLACE: Monumental Drawings by Dawn Clements, Cynthia Lin, Gelah Penn, Fran Siegel, Equity Gallery, NYC, curated by Gelah Penn and Jonathan Rider
related professional activities

UConn Storrs, Storrs, CT, guest lecturer 2020
Hartford Art School, Hartford, CT, guest lecturer 2019

Baker Center for the Arts, Muhlenberg College, Allentown, PA, artist talk, 2017
SUNY College at Old Westbury, Old Westbury, NY, artist talk, 2017
California State University, Long Beach, CA, visiting critic, 2017
Visiting Artist Lecture Series, Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture, Spokane, WA, 2013
College Art Association, 101st Annual Conference, "Painting: The Elastic Frontier," panel, 2013
SUNY New Paltz, adjunct lecturer, 2012
Christie's Education, NYC, guest lecturer, 2012
School of Visual Arts, NYC, guest lecturer, 2016, 2012, 2011
SUNY Purchase, NY, guest lecturer, 2010
University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, guest lecturer, 2010
Real Art Ways, Hartford, CT, artist talk, 2009
Lehman College, NYC, guest lecturer, 2008, 2007
Rowan University Art Gallery, Glassboro, NJ, artist talk, 2008
Dam Stuhltrager Gallery,"Women in the Arts," NYC, panel, 2006
Kentler International Drawing Space, Brooklyn, NY, artist talk, 2006

San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, CA; BFA
Also: Brandeis University & University of Maryland