All Exhibitions

Ripped and Woven by Galen Cheney

Jan 19–Apr 14, 2024

The Space

Materiality -
Some works of art have the potential to transform and elevate their media in a way that connects with viewers' natural inclinations to touch and sense them. The work in this thematic group of Saint Kate exhibitions is tactile and textural, encouraging viewers to think about their physicality in a way that merely symbolic, representational, or conceptual doesn't.

Galen Cheney is a painter’s painter. Her formal art education began at Mount Holyoke College and continued at the Maryland Institute, College of Art, where she received an MFA under the instruction of Grace Hartigan, Hermine Ford, and Salvatore Scarpitta, among other important artists. Three decades later, she continues to pursue her work with honesty, commitment, and fearlessness. Diving into the depths of her creative process, she emphasizes the physical act of making, which can be seen in her richly layered paintings. Each of the works in this show embodies her curiosity about and exploration of materiality, and abstraction, and how they relate to her psyche.

Born in Los Angeles and widely traveled, Cheney has spent most of her life in New England where she maintains a deep connection to her roots, the land, and centuries-old architecture. A childhood trip to Europe initiated her enduring love of travel and fascination with ancient civilizations. Along with this affinity, Cheney holds a deep respect for the gravitational pull of contemporary urban life–its grit, noise, and neon graffiti and an unshakable connection to the mid-century Abstract Expressionists. In her way, she synthesizes these influences to create work that is complex, and uniquely her own.

Cheney’s work has been exhibited and collected widely in the U.S. and Europe, China, Canada, and the UK. Her work was featured in New American Paintings (vol. 86)and was nominated for a Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant. Past residencies and fellowships include the Millay Colony, MASS MoCA, Vermont Studio Center, Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site, and Da Wang Culture Highland.

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