Jessica Westhafer: Doom and Gloom at Arsenal Contemporary
Jan 15 – Feb 26, 2022
Images courtesy of Arsenal Contemporary
Arsenal Contemporary Art New York is pleased to present a solo exhibition of new work by the Brooklyn-based artist Jessica Westhafer. Doom and Gloom — the artist’s first solo exhibition in New York— is a collection of calamitous yet humorous short stories.
Inspired by images from films, TV shows, or songs that particularly resonate with the artist, the characters that populate her tableaux appear tormented and deeply uncomfortable amidst the compositions that house them. Caught in moments of adversity or even pain, they speak collectively to the inevitability of overcoming obstacles in life. Despite this, these are far from heroic figures, in fact, most come off as decidedly pathetic or absurd.
Westhafer has developed a visual language that borrows from popular culture´s approachable and playful repertoire, all the while touching on deeply personal and psychological traumas. The paintings brought together for this exhibition all carry a compelling emotional affect that is reinforced by Westhafer’s highly gestural technique.
Doom and Gloom, despite its ominous title, is a celebration of human resilience, and a reminder that even in the bleakest of moments there can be an opportunity for humour.
Jessica Westhafer (b. 1990) lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She received her MFA in Painting from Indiana University in 2020. Recent exhibitions include DUVE Gallery (Berlin), Thierry Goldberg Gallery (New York), Arsenal Contemporary Art (Toronto), and König Gallery (Berlin).