Jennifer Dudley
"Rainn Wilson at the Met, Right", 2009
graphite on paper
12 x 14 inches



Narrative is mutable and representation, elastic. Through the retelling, our stories have changed. The incongruities presented by adaptations, translations, and histories revised offer the viewer, reader, or listener an active role in making meaning. Reading, watching, looking, or listening, I seek out the fissures in what is seemingly fixed. Making art, I do the same.

Pulling fragments from various modalities—film, novels, furniture, audio recordings, museums, graveyards, television—I recast characters actual and fictional into new roles. The comedic television actor spends time with 19th century decorative arts. The author replaces the lead actress in a still from a film adaptation of her novel. I alter, re-title, or rearrange known images as both iconoclast and idolater. Solemn scenarios pocked with slapstick are rendered tenderly, resulting in paintings and drawings that are both parody and homage.  Deadpan and ingenuous: these dualities are recapitulated in visual doubling.  My use of the double mirrors the possibility for endless variation and derivation, the mystique of twining animating the potential for transformation of meaning. Often, these discrete tableaus are paired with modified furnishings in response to specific locations. Theatrical staging offers a performative context for the interaction between object and viewer. Representational paintings and drawings rebel against art historically determined understandings as they become merely a scene-within-a-scene, and pseudo-historic artifacts engage in a push-pull with time. Shifting between the contexts, the story is in continuous flux. 

The entangling of these synecdochical allusions and visual excerpts—adjacent and overlapping—builds new but not cohesive narratives.  This gesture is as much in line with folkloric traditions as it is with current fanfiction; in my work, I claim it for contemporary art.    


Selected Exhibitions

2009       Le Roman Du Lievre: Marginalia, curated by James Riordan and Leslie Stumpf, MTS Gallery, Anchorage, AK
2009       Life Goes On, Parlour, Brooklyn, NY
2009       Put On, Circus Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2009       Hysteria Past Yet Present, curated by Anonda Bell, Paul Robeson Galleries, Rutgers University, Newark, NJ (cat.)
2008       The Analyst, solo exhibition, Pascal Gallery, Ramapo College, Ramapo, NJ (cat.)
2007       Vision Request, curated by Andrea Zittel, A-Z West, Joshua Tree, CA
2007       Redrawn, curated by Katy Porte, Brooklyn Fire Proof, Brooklyn, NY
2006       Stories From The Dream Cabinet,Slocumb Gallery, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN



Utopia/Dystopia, panel organizer, Smack Mellon, Brooklyn, NY, October 2009
I’m Feeling Lucky, performance series organizer, P.P.O.W. Gallery, New York, NY, July 9, 2009

On Biography, panel organizer, Drawing Center, New York, NY, June 10, 2009

Art and Value, panel organizer, CUE Art Foundation, New York, NY, April 8, 2009

The De-centered Practice, panel co-chair and moderator, CAA, Los Angeles, CA, February 28, 2009

Interview with Daniel Bozhkov,, February 2009

Representing Modernism: Architecture in Contemporary Art, panel organizer, Frederieke Taylor Gallery, New York, NY, December 13, 2008

On Criticism, panel organizer, Guild and Greyshkul Gallery, New York, NY, October 30, 2008

Conceptual Figures, panel organizer, Deitch Projects, New York, NY, September 9, 2008

Avatar, panel organizer, Bellwether Gallery, New York, NY, November 27, 2007

Double X Art, panel organizer, Brooklyn Fire Proof, Brooklyn, NY, July 18, 2007 (The first in an ongoing series of panel discussions and events that address a wide range of issues in contemporary art under the moniker Ad Hoc Vox, co-founded with Colleen Asper)


2004       Geraldine R. Dodge CAA Fellowship for Emerging Artists



2009 Bell, Anonda, “Hysteria Past Yet Present,” exhibition catalog, Paul Robeson Galleries, Rutgers University
2008 Asper, Colleen, “The Analyst,” exhibition catalog, Ramapo College Galleries
2005 Rondeau James, ed., “New American Paintings: The MFA Annual,” Open Studios Press, Wellesley, MA



2006       Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Skowhegan, ME
2005       MFA, Yale University School of Art, New Haven, CT
1998       BFA, University of Georgia, Athens, GA


Lives and works in Brooklyn, NY