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Lavaughan Jenkins

Weight of Things

September 17November 5, 2022

Greenhouse

This image illustrates a link to the exhibition titled Lavaughan Jenkins: Weight of Things

Opening Reception: September 17, 4 – 6PM

Vielmetter Los Angeles is thrilled to announce our first exhibition with Boston-based artist Lavaughan Jenkins, “Weight of Things”, opening in the Greenhouse on September 17, 2022. In this series of new paintings created during the artist’s residencies at the Provincetown Art Center and Addison Gallery of American Art in 2021-22, Black women are at the center. Jenkins’ representations of women honor the roles that specific women have played in his life, as well as the outsized and unfairly weighty role that Black women play in bending the arc of history ever more toward justice. Anonymous, expressionless, as well as captivating, poised, and powerful, the women in these new paintings are icons of resilience and beauty; the focal point of the work and of the stories the artist most wants to tell.

In the background of each work, white hoods with large, dark eye-holes loom over these women, the points of their hoods breaking through the edge of the painting, fields of color within the tube-squeezed circles of their peepholes suggesting some undelivered access to the figure inside. In contrast to the dark implications of the hoods, Jenkins, who applies paint like cake frosting, in exuberant impasto, surrounds the women with references to pleasure and protection: colorful patterns drawn from contemporary runway shows; kneeling figures with their hands raised in a gesture of prayer or thanks; and protectors with large, white-gloved fists and outsized heads perched on Nike Air Jordans. The complex referentiality of these images brings together references that range from Philip Guston’s hood paintings and self-portraits from the 1970’s, to the influence of Black culture on fashion through both appropriation and the incredibly generative work of designers like Virgil Abloh, to the omnipresence of history and generational trauma – the weight of those things that are always lurking around, whether we can see them or not. In the paintings on paper, Jenkins has named the recurring kneeling figure “Nigel;” a stand-in for protestors of every color who marched with the words “I can’t breathe” on their masks. These figures are present in these works to fight the disease of white supremacy.

Installation image credit: Jeff McLane

Guston has been playing an active role in Jenkins’ work since the two met in a dream in 2017. Over cigarettes, Guston suggested that the younger artist should think beyond the limiting edge of the painting surface, and soon after Jenkins began to paint in three dimensions. Here the three-dimensional paintings take on similar forms to the kneeling figures and protectors who appear in the paintings on paper, albeit more abstract. The three-dimensional kneeling figures have their torsos, arms, and heads brought together in a multi-colored mass resembling both praying hands and the hoods, their eyes made by squeezing circles directly from the tube of paint. This rich, associative re-interpretation of the hood as a mask; suggests the experience of putting on any mask, hiding one’s identity, or trying on a new one. The masked figure is imagined as free of the fear of being recognized and associated with their actions – free to either protest or commit violence. Ironically, they are held down by this disidentification, suggesting the weight of hiding who you are and your intentions, no matter the purpose.

Lavaughan Jenkins
“she the people,” 2022
Oil paint on oil paper
30" x 22" [HxW] (76.2 x 55.88 cm); 33" x 25 ³⁄₄" x 2 ¹⁄₂" [HxWxD] (83.82 x 65.4 x 6.35 cm) Framed
Inventory #JEN1000
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Jeff McLane
Signed recto
jenkins_1000_shethepeople_install_hires.jpeg
Lavaughan Jenkins
“in public eyes (line up),” 2022
Oil piant on oil paper
30" x 22" [HxW] (76.2 x 55.88 cm); 33" x 25 ³⁄₄" x 2 ¹⁄₂" [HxWxD] (83.82 x 65.4 x 6.35 cm) Framed
Inventory #JEN1002
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Jeff McLane
Signed recto
jenkins_1002_inpubliceyes_install_hires.jpeg
Lavaughan Jenkins
“blood ain't just on the leaves,” 2022
Oil paint on oil paper
30" x 22" [HxW] (76.2 x 55.88 cm); 33" x 25 ³⁄₄" x 2 ¹⁄₂" [HxWxD] (83.82 x 65.4 x 6.35 cm) Framed
Inventory #JEN1003
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Jeff McLane
Signed recto
jenkins_1003_bloodaintjustontheleaves_install_hires.jpeg
Lavaughan Jenkins
“we ain't got the time today,” 2022
Oil paint on oil paper
30" x 22" [HxW] (76.2 x 55.88 cm); 33" x 25 ³⁄₄" x 2 ¹⁄₂" [HxWxD] (83.82 x 65.4 x 6.35 cm) Framed
Inventory #JEN1004
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Jeff McLane
Signed recto
jenkins_1004_weain'tgotthetimetoday_install_hires.jpeg
Lavaughan Jenkins
“united in grief,” 2022
Oil paint on oil paper
30" x 22" [HxW] (76.2 x 55.88 cm); 33" x 25 ³⁄₄" x 2 ¹⁄₂" [HxWxD] (83.82 x 65.4 x 6.35 cm) Framed
Inventory #JEN1005
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Jeff McLane
Signed recto
jenkins_1005_unitedingrief_install_hires.jpeg
Lavaughan Jenkins
“black like a family reunion,” 2022
Oil paint on oil paper
30" x 22" [HxW] (76.2 x 55.88 cm); 33" x 25 ³⁄₄" x 2 ¹⁄₂" [HxWxD] (83.82 x 65.4 x 6.35 cm) Framed
Inventory #JEN1006
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Jeff McLane
Signed recto
jenkins_1006_blacklikeafamilyreunion_install_hires.jpeg
Lavaughan Jenkins
“sister circle,” 2022
Oil paint on oil paper
30" x 22" [HxW] (76.2 x 55.88 cm); 33" x 25 ³⁄₄" x 2 ¹⁄₂" [HxWxD] (83.82 x 65.4 x 6.35 cm) Framed
Inventory #JEN1025
Courtesy of the Artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Jeff McLane
Signed recto
jenkins_1025_sistercircle_install_hires.jpeg
Lavaughan Jenkins
“nothing's changed,” 2022
Oil paint on oil paper
30" x 22" [HxW] (76.2 x 55.88 cm); 33" x 25 ³⁄₄" x 2 ¹⁄₂" [HxWxD] (83.82 x 65.4 x 6.35 cm) Framed
Inventory #JEN1026
Courtesy of the Artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Jeff McLane
Signed recto
jenkins_1026_nothing'schanged_install_hires.jpeg
Lavaughan Jenkins
“you want our rhythm and not our blues,” 2022
Oil paint on oil paper
30" x 22" [HxW] (76.2 x 55.88 cm); 33" x 25 ³⁄₄" x 2 ¹⁄₂" [HxWxD] (83.82 x 65.41 x 6.35 cm)
Inventory #JEN1027
Courtesy of the Artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Jeff McLane
Signed recto
jenkins_1027_youwantourrhythmandnotourblues_install_hires.jpeg
Lavaughan Jenkins
“Masked 1,” 2022
Acrylic paint, oil paint over foam and plaster
13" x 6 1⁄4" x 6 1⁄4" [HxWxD] (33.02 x 15.88 x 15.88 cm)
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles Photo credit: Brica Wilcox
jen1013_hires.jpg
Lavaughan Jenkins
“Masked 2,” 2022
Acrylic paint, oil paint over foam and plaster
13 ¹⁄₂" x 6 ¹⁄₄" x 6 ¹⁄₂" [HxWxD] (34.29 x 15.88 x 16.51 cm)
Inventory #JEN1014
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Brica Wilcox
jen1014_hires.jpg
Lavaughan Jenkins
“Masked 3,” 2022
Acrylic paint, oil paint over foam and plaster
15 ¹⁄₄" x 7 ¹⁄₄" x 7 ¹⁄₂" [HxWxD] (38.74 x 18.42 x 19.05 cm)
Inventory #JEN1015
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Brica Wilcox
jen1015_hires-2.jpg
Lavaughan Jenkins
“Masked 4,” 2022
Acrylic paint, oil paint over foam and plaster
13" x 6 ¹⁄₄" x 6 ¹⁄₄" [HxWxD] (33.02 x 15.88 x 15.88 cm)
Inventory #JEN1016
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Brica Wilcox
jen1016_hires-2.jpg
Lavaughan Jenkins
“Masked 5,” 2022
Acrylic paint, oil paint over foam and plaster
12 ¹⁄₂" x 6 ¹⁄₄" x 6 ¹⁄₄" [HxWxD] (31.75 x 15.88 x 15.88 cm)
Inventory #JEN1017
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Brica Wilcox
jen1017_hires-2.jpg
Lavaughan Jenkins
“Masked 6,” 2022
Acrylic paint, oil paint over foam and plaster
13 ¹⁄₂" x 6 ¹⁄₄" x 6 ¹⁄₄" [HxWxD] (34.29 x 15.88 x 15.88 cm)
Inventory #JEN1018
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Brica Wilcox
jen1018_hires.jpg
Lavaughan Jenkins
“Masked 7,” 2022
Acrylic paint, oil paint over foam and plaster
13 ¹⁄₂" x 6 ¹⁄₄" x 6 ¹⁄₂" [HxWxD] (34.29 x 15.88 x 16.51 cm)
Inventory #JEN1019
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Brica Wilcox
jen1019_hires-2.jpg
Lavaughan Jenkins
“Masked 8,” 2022
Acrylic paint, oil paint over foam and plaster
13 ¹⁄₄" x 6 ¹⁄₄" x 6 ³⁄₄" [HxWxD] (33.66 x 15.88 x 17.15 cm)
Inventory #JEN1020
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Brica Wilcox
jen1020_hires-3.jpg
Lavaughan Jenkins
“Masked 9,” 2022
Acrylic paint, oil paint over foam and plaster
15" x 6 ¹⁄₂" x 7 ¹⁄₄" [HxWxD] (38.1 x 16.51 x 18.42 cm)
Inventory #JEN1021
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Brica Wilcox
jen1021_hires-2.jpg
Lavaughan Jenkins
“Masked 10,” 2022
Acrylic paint, oil paint over foam and plaster
14 ¹⁄₂" x 6 ¹⁄₄" x 6" [HxWxD] (36.83 x 15.88 x 15.24 cm)
Inventory #JEN1022
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Brica Wilcox
jen1022_hires.jpg
Lavaughan Jenkins
“Masked 11,” 2022
Acrylic paint, oil paint over foam and plaster
14 ¹⁄₂" x 6 ¹⁄₄" x 7 ¹⁄₂" [HxWxD] (36.83 x 15.88 x 19.05 cm)
Inventory #JEN1023
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Brica Wilcox
jen1023_hires-3.jpg
Lavaughan Jenkins
“Masked 12,” 2022
Acrylic paint, oil paint over foam and plaster
14 ³⁄₄" x 6 ¹⁄₂" x 7 ¹⁄₄" [HxWxD] (37.47 x 16.51 x 18.42 cm)
Inventory #JEN1024
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Brica Wilcox
jen1024_hires.jpg
Lavaughan Jenkins
“the protectors 7,” 2022
Acrylic paint, spray paint, oil paint, over foam and plaster
10" x 8" x 6 ³⁄₄" [HxWxD] (25.4 x 20.32 x 17.15 cm)
Inventory #JEN1028
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Brica Wilcox
jen1028_hires-2.jpg
Lavaughan Jenkins
“the protectors 8,” 2022
Acrylic paint, spray paint, oil paint, over foam and plaster
9 ³⁄₄" x 7 ³⁄₄" x 6 ¹⁄₄" [HxWxD] (24.77 x 19.69 x 15.88 cm)
Inventory #JEN1029
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Brica Wilcox
jen1029_hires-3.jpg
Lavaughan Jenkins
“the protectors 9,” 2022
Acrylic paint, spray paint, oil paint, over foam and plaster
9 ³⁄₄" x 8 ¹⁄₂" x 7" [HxWxD] (24.77 x 21.59 x 17.78 cm)
Inventory #JEN1030
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Brica Wilcox
jen1030_hires-2.jpg
Lavaughan Jenkins
“the protectors 10,” 2022
Acrylic paint, spray paint, oil paint, over foam and plaster
9 ³⁄₄" x 7 ³⁄₄" x 7" [HxWxD] (24.77 x 19.69 x 17.78 cm)
Inventory #JEN1031
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Brica Wilcox
jen1031_hires-4.jpg
Lavaughan Jenkins
“the protectors 11,” 2022
Acrylic paint, spray paint, oil paint, over foam and plaster
9 ³⁄₄" x 8" x 7" [HxWxD] (24.77 x 20.32 x 17.78 cm)
Inventory #JEN1032
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Brica Wilcox
jen1032_hires-2.jpg
Lavaughan Jenkins
“the protectors 12,” 2022
Acrylic paint, spray paint, oil paint, over foam and plaster
9 ³⁄₄" x 7 ¹⁄₂" x 6 ³⁄₄" [HxWxD] (24.77 x 19.05 x 17.15 cm)
Inventory #JEN1033
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Brica Wilcox
jen1033_hires-2.jpg
Lavaughan Jenkins
“Masked 13,” 2022
Acrylic paint, oil paint over foam and plaster
15" x 6 ¹⁄₄" x 7 ³⁄₄" [HxWxD] (38.1 x 15.88 x 19.69 cm)
Inventory #JEN1034
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Brica Wilcox
jen1034_hires.jpg
Lavaughan Jenkins
“Masked 14,” 2022
Acrylic paint, oil paint over foam and plaster
14 ¹⁄₂" x 6 ¹⁄₄" x 7" [HxWxD] (36.83 x 15.88 x 17.78 cm)
Inventory #JEN1035
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Brica Wilcox
jen1035_hires.jpg

Bio

Lavaughan Jenkins (b. 1976 Pensacola, FL is a painter, printmaker, and sculptor currently working in Boston, MA. He received a BFA from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in 2005. In 2019 Jenkins was awarded the James and Audrey Foster Prize by the Institute of Contemporary Art / Boston. In 2016, he was named Emerging Artist of the year at Kingston Gallery in Boston, MA, Jenkins is a recipient of the 2015 Blanche E. Colman Award and in 2002 received the Rob Moore Grant in Painting. He has exhibited his work most recently at venues such as Abigail Ogilvy Gallery (Boston), The Painting Center (NY), Suffolk University Gallery (Boston), and Oasis Gallery (Beijing). His work is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston.