Jenny Kemp’s organic abstractions fill the Mandeville Gallery

Publication Date
Jenny Kemp’s artwork

Jenny Kemp: Slow Grow, featuring 18 of the artist’s striking abstractions, opens Saturday in the Mandeville Gallery on the second floor of the Nott Memorial.

An opening reception, free and open to the public, is set for Wednesday, Sept. 26, 5-6:30 p.m.

Kemp has been exploring the possibilities of organic abstraction for more than a decade. She paints in acrylic and in gouache, building space and light through the placement of intricate, shifting parallel and concentric lines.

Jenny Kemp, Little P, 2016, gouache on paper, 29 x 19 inches, © Jenny Kemp

Using this stripe motif, she adopts references to mid-20th century abstraction such as minimalism and op art. She then parts from this connection to embrace the hand-painted process and sensitive color relationships to construct personal spaces.

She also produces small stop-motion animations, one of which is featured in the Nott exhibit.

In her artist statement, Kemp says she examines “the elements of invention and surprise that result from working cyclically between painting and animation… I create biologically-inspired imagery that is built through lines and planes of subtly shifting hue intensities, generating form through a slow additive process that parallels growth in nature.”

She also found inspiration in the architectural backdrop of the Nott, whose 16 sides create repetitive circular shapes – a commonality with the parallel nature of Kemp’s painted lines.

Kemp, who will teach a painting class at Union this fall, lives and works in Troy, N.Y.

She earned a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and a master of fine arts in painting from the University at Albany. Her work has been exhibited nationally, most recently in “Surface 4” at ARENA at Brooklyn Dermatology in New York City, and in “When We Were Young: Rethinking Abstraction from the University at Albany Art Collections (1967-Present)” at the University Art Museum.

She has been featured in the book, “100 Painters of Tomorrow” (Thames & Hudson), as well as in The Huffington Post,Seattle’s City Arts, luxe, The New York Times and Apogee. She received a 2015 NYFA Artist Fellowship in Painting and the 2015 Emerging Artist Award from the Art Center of the Capital Region. Kemp sits on the board of Collar Works, a non-profit, artist-run exhibition space in Troy.

Jenny Kemp: Slow Grow was curated by Julie Lohnes, curator of Art Collections & Exhibitions. It runs through Dec. 12.

The Mandeville Gallery is located on the second floor of the Nott Memorial.