The out-of-print and quite scarce catalogue to Jennifer Packer's exhibition The Eye Is Not Satisfied With Seeing, at the Serpentine Gallery in London in 2021 (and reconstituted at the Whitney Museum in NYC in 2022).
Featuring 34 works dated from 2011 to 2020, the exhibition presented portraits of artists from Packer's New York circle, monochromatic paintings, intimate interiors and flower still lifes. The exhibition also included drawings which for Packer are rarely just a study but hold a weight of their own that differs from paintings.
From the publisher:
Combining observation, improvisation and memory, Packer's intimate portraits of friends and family members and flower still paintings insist on the emotional and physical essence of the contemporary Black lives she depicts. -- Nan Collymore Contemporary & Magazine
"Friendship, loss and the everyday populate Packer's canvases, full of disquieting detail." --Adrian Searle, The Guardian
On the occasion of Jennifer Packer's exhibition The Eye Is Not Satisfied With Seeing, Serpentine has co-published a catalogue with Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther und Franz König. Richly illustrated and designed by Roland Brauchli, it includes contributions by a number of artists and art historians including Rizvana Bradley, bell hooks, Dona Nelson, Christina Sharpe , Lynette Yiadom-Boakye and an interview between Jennifer Packer and Serpentine Artistic Director Hans Ulrich Obrist.
Christina Sharpe's insightful new text Abundant With Light focuses on both the political and emotional resonance of Packer's practice. Artist and writer Lynette Yiadom-Boakye has written short texts and a poem that can be read with Packer's paintings in mind. An extended interview between the artist and Hans Ulrich Obrist delves deeply into her practice and her artistic influences from Carravagio to Fantin Latour to Kehinde Wiley. Art Historian Rizvana Bradley's scholarly essay The Weathering of Form: Jennifer Packer's Abstract Figures centers on works in the exhibition and positions Packer within discourses of Black art theory. Artist Dona Nelson, Packer's former painting tutor, recounts a studio visit with the artist in early March 2020, prior to the global lockdown. Nelson's intimate perceptions of new paintings are inextricably connected to that specific time and place. The catalogue also includes bell hooks' seminal 1992 essay Representing Whiteness in the Black Imagination, which remains an important influence on Packer's practice.
American painter Jennifer Packer (born 1984) grew up in Philadelphia and received her MFA from Yale University in 2012. She was formerly the Artist-in-Residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem (2012-13) and a Visual Arts Fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA (2014-16). She currently works as an assistant professor of painting at the Rhode Island School of Design. Packer is represented by Sikkema Jenkins & Co in New York City, where the artist lives.