BIO

Gelah Penn's work expands the language of drawing in sculptural space. Recent solo exhibitions include: 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). Recent group exhibitions include the Center for Maine Contemporary Art (Rockland, ME); Felician University (Rutherford, NJ); Odetta, Equity Gallery, Kentler Int'l Drawing Space, and The Yard (New York, NY). Her 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 Gund Library/Cleveland Institute of Art (Cleveland, OH). Reviews of her work have been published in Art in America, The New York Times, The Brooklyn Rail, d'Art International, Whitehot Magazine, artcritical, and featured in Sculpture Magazine, Art Maze Mag and Peripheral Vision Press. Penn has received a Tree of Life Individual Artist Grant and fellowships from the Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program, Yaddo and MacDowell. After years in NYC, the artist now lives and works in rural Connecticut.

 
STATEMENT
 
In my site-responsive installations and constructed drawings, I assemble experiences of visual ambiguity and psychological unease. 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. 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.

 
CV & PRESS LINKS

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

selected solo exhibitions

2020
Uneasy Terms, Undercurrent, Brooklyn, NY 

2019
WHITEOUT, ICEHOUSE Project Space, Sharon, CT 

2017
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)

2015
Polyglot Y Unhinged, Lori Bookstein Fine Art, Open Window Project, NYC
Double Indemnity + Polyglots, Foley Gallery, New York, NY

2010
Shadow of a Doubt, Carl Berg Projects, Los Angeles, CA

2009
Clash By Night, Real Art Ways, Hartford, CT

2008
The Narrow Margin, Rowan University Art Gallery, Glassboro, NJ

2006 
Detour, Kentler International Drawing Space, Brooklyn, NY
Swing Time, Dam Stuhltrager Gallery, Project Room, Brooklyn, NY

2005
On Dangerous Ground, Realform Project Space, Brooklyn, NY

2001
Gelah Penn: Recent Work, 354 Exhibitions, Brooklyn, NY

selected group exhibitions

2021
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 (upcoming)

2020
XS, Alfa Gallery, Miami, FL
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

2019
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
Femmes Fatales: Ebb Tide, ODETTA/Chelsea, New York, NY
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

2018
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

2017
Materiality: The Matter of Matter, Center for Maine Contemporary Art, Rockland, ME
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

2016
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
Sideshow Nation IV: Thru the Rabbit Hole, Sideshow Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

2015
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
Sideshow Nation III: Circle the Wagons, Sideshow Gallery, Brooklyn, NY 
Paperazzi IV, Janet Kurnatowski Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

2014
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 (catalogue)
6018 Wilshire, Edward Cella Art & Architecture, Los Angeles, CA
Large and Small, Kentler International Drawing Space, Brooklyn, NY
Sideshow Nation II: At the Alamo, Sideshow Gallery, Brooklyn, NY 
Paperazzi III, Janet Kurnatowski Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

2013
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
Sideshow Nation, Sideshow Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
Paperazzi II, Janet Kurnatowski Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

2012
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

2011
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
It's All Good: apocalypse now, Sideshow Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

2010
Off the Wall, Allegra LaViola Gallery, New York, NY
Paper Works, Janet Kurnatowski Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
It's a Wonderful 10th, Sideshow Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

2009
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
It's a Wonderful Life, Sideshow Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

2008
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
Peace, Sideshow Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

2007
Radius, Metaphor Contemporary Art, Brooklyn, NY
Variations in Black & White, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn, NY
War is Over "Again," Sideshow Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

2006
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
War is Over, Sideshow Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

2005
Gyrations, Kentler International Drawing Space, Brooklyn, NY
Project Diversity, Corridor Gallery, Brooklyn NY
New ’05, Nurtureart at Spike Gallery, New York, NY

2004
Drawings: Form, Content, Materials, Delaware Valley Arts Alliance, Narrowsburg, NY
Merry/Peace, Sideshow Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

2003
354 Exhibitions, Brooklyn, NY

2001
Momenta Art Benefit, Momenta Art at White Columns, Brooklyn & New York City, curated by Eric Heist

2000
The Brooklyn Project, Semi-Public at 354 Exhibitions, Brooklyn, NY
1999
Pierogi 2000 flatfiles

1998
Eich Space, NYC
Seeing Money, Rotunda Gallery, New York, NY

1995
Buoys: Marking the Place, Art Initiatives/Bill Bace Gallery, NYC, curated by Bill Bace (catalogue)

1994
Sculpture Center, New York, NY
Mass Exposure, Art Initiatives, New York, NY

1993
Songs of Retribution, Richard Anderson Gallery, New York, NY, curated by Nancy Spero
Sculpture Center, New York, NY

1992
On Paper, Sculpture Center, New York, NY, curated by Peter Hristoff
 
fellowships/awards

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
O'Neill McVoy Architects, New York, NY
 
selected bibliography and links

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

  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," artcritical.com, Oct. 5, 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," observer.com, July 20, 2015

Editors. "9 Art Events to Attend in New York City This Week," artnews.com, 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," artcritical.com, 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

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," InArkansas.com, July 2, 2010

Barrick, Nicole. "Allegra LaViola Gallery Opens Show with Sculptural Works Attached to the Wall," artdaily.org, 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, publications

"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

2016
PLACE: Monumental Drawings by Dawn Clements, Cynthia Lin, Gelah Penn, Fran Siegel, Equity Gallery, NYC, curated by Gelah Penn and Jonathan Rider
2015
Diphthong, Shirley Fiterman Art Center of BMCC, NYC, curated by Stephen Maine and Gelah Penn
object'hood, Lesley Heller Workspace, NYC, curated by Inna Babaeva and Gelah Penn
 
related professional activities

White Columns Curated Artist Registry, New York, NY
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

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

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