PRESS / 2017

Art21 reviews Summer Wheat’s work: New Kids on the Block | Summer Wheat on Her Flight Away from “Cowboy Space Gangsters”



Text from the article:


“A few weeks ago, artist Summer Wheat invited me to her studio near the border of Bushwick and Ridgewood to a spot where Brooklyn uncomfortably abuts Queens. From the over-sized industrial windows in Wheat’s studio, a sunset panorama of Manhattan was tinged magenta. The vibe inside Wheat’s studio was likewise colorful: bold, tactile paintings were scattered about the walls and the tables were littered with pre-mixed monochromatic palettes, Tupperware containers of muddy hues, soiled latex gloves, and cake decorator nibs filled with pungent oil paints. Wheat herself had worn subdued tones, tawny browns and earthy olives, layering abstract floral prints over opaque navy tights. We sat at a table that had been set for the occasion with a bottle of white wine and a spread of snacks. Over the next two hours, Wheat, nibbling and sipping occasionally, talked openly about her work and life.


A native of Oklahoma, Wheat blushed faintly as she recounted her “wholesome” childhood in the suburbs of Oklahoma City. She described her hometown’s mishmash of Native American mysticism and Western Americana as otherworldly, densely populated with “cowboy space gangsters.” Wheat was a different breed of alien, though she was not alone. There were other like-minded oddballs, including her grandparents, who decorated their home exclusively with green furniture and cruised the town in a canary yellow convertible. Exotic gifts from their travels around Asia aroused her curiosity about the world beyond the Midwestern state. From a young age Wheat was keen to leave.”


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