Inheritance by Katherine Groesbeck

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Katherine Simóne Reynolds: A Warning Resting in the Distance

Submitted on November 8, 2021 - 4:38pm
Person in blue dress standing alone in a city plaza
Image credit: Katherine Simóne Reynolds, Distant Portrait, Vienna, 2018. 2:16min. Courtesy the artist.


November 16 – December 11, 2021

Opening reception: Thursday, November 18, 5–8pm
Proof of vaccination and masks are required

The Jacob Lawrence Gallery and The Black Embodiments Studio (BES) are pleased to present Katherine Simóne Reynolds: A Warning Resting in the Distance, an exhibition centered on how Black women feel in the face of danger, whether that danger is known for certain or merely speculated. Featuring photography, video, installation and sound works by Katherine Simóne Reynolds, the exhibition considers how different kinds of information influence the way we relate to our surroundings. A recorded exhibition walkthrough with a talk by Reynolds will also be available to view via BES social media channels.

Many of Reynolds’ images of Black women are loaded with racialized and gendered expectations about cause and effect: the wedding, the porn shoot, standing alone on a corner, posing with reading material, captured by surveillance technology — and always alone. How do we perceive these moments? What do we expect? Throughout the exhibition, Reynolds explores the impulse to warn these women, to surmise what they’re doing, to assume impending consequences. She also spotlights acts of “overhealing” in which Black women protect themselves from surveillance and harm — like the keloid scars that protect their skin after a trauma, the wigs that both enhance and shroud their visibility. 

"This exhibition is different for me — it became surprisingly more like alchemy than in past exhibitions of mine that have explored Black women's stories around surviving within paradoxical spaces,” says Reynolds. “I'm manifesting connections within Black femme histories, stories, and folklore. In this, the work sees me, and I feel it.” 

The Jacob Lawrence Gallery is open Tuesday through Thursday from 10am to 5pm (with a 20-person limit), Fridays and Saturdays by appointment.

About the artist 

Katherine Simóne Reynolds’ practice investigates emotional dialects and psychogeographies of Blackness within the “non,” and the importance of “anti-excellence.” Her work physicalizes emotions and experiences by constructing pieces that include portrait photography, video works, choreography, and sculpture. In the process of making subtle changes to her practice she has learned that creating an environment built on intention brings the most disarming feelings to the work. Utilizing Black embodiment and affect alongside her own personal narrative as a place of departure has made her question her own navigation of ownership, inclusion, and authenticity within a contemporary gaze. She draws inspiration from Black glamour while interrogating the notion of “authentic care.” Her practice generally deals in Blackness from her own perspective and she continuously searches for what it means to produce “Black Work.”

Reynolds has exhibited and performed work within many spaces and institutions, including the Pulitzer Arts Foundation, The Museum of Modern Art, and The Luminary. Reynolds has exhibited and performed work within many spaces and institutions including the Pulitzer Arts Foundation, Museum of Modern Art New York, The Luminary, and an upcoming solo exhibition at the Jacob Lawrence Gallery. She has exhibited in national and international group and solo shows, has spoken at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis and the Saint Louis Art Museum, and the Black Midwest Initiative Symposium at University of Minnesota. Alongside her visual art practice, she has embarked on curatorial projects at The Luminary in Saint Louis, SculptureCenter, and upcoming exhibitions for the Stanley Museum of Art as well as the Clyfford Still Museum for 2023 and 2024.

About The Black Embodiments Studio

A resident program of the Jacob Lawrence Gallery and School of Art + Art History + Design at the University of Washington, The Black Embodiments Studio (BES) is a critical arts writing incubator and public lecture series dedicated to expansive, dynamic investigations of blackness in contemporary art. The incubator steeps participants in diverse models of arts writing for academic and non-academic audiences, charting a theory and ethics of arts criticism around questions of racial blackness, aesthetics, and embodiments. Throughout the year, BES supports participants as they develop their own pieces of short-form arts writing on Black art staged and exhibited in Seattle. Three times a year, BES invites artists, curators, and writers to the Jacob Lawrence Gallery to conduct workshops with program participants and give public talks about their practice. Past guests include Kameelah Janan Rashid, Claire Tancons, Taylor Renee Aldridge, Danny Giles, and many others. Follow BES on Instagram: @blackembodiments.