Summer Wheat’s Cut and Paste features a series of new paintings that represent the culmination of the last five years of the artist’s practice. Each work is a mini-retrospective of sorts, as Wheat brings together disparate subjects, palettes, and formal qualities from her Beekeepers, Hunters, Gardeners, and Moneymaker series. Elements from these previous bodies of work are metaphorically “cut and pasted” to create new, densely layered compositions that visualize Wheat’s decades-long investigation into the historical documentation of women’s labor―and its absence. Wheat’s narratives bear no specific time markers for the depicted events, but rather embody untold stories, revealing the whole truth behind the contribution of women across every aspect of society. Collision, the centerpiece of the exhibition, portrays female hunters, gardeners, and money makers (represented through currency) at varying scales, densely packed within the picture plane. Here, Wheat subverts the traditional portrayal of women as objects of desire and beauty and offers a more complex representation of femininity. Her subjects are depicted as breadwinners and caretakers who carry a heavy load for their communities while also enjoying the earthly pleasures of their lives.

The works featured in Cut and Paste originated as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and the time it offered for self-reflection. Looking back at her own practice, Wheat was inspired to create paintings that visualized the connective thread that runs through each series―women, their buried stories, and the artist’s unrestrained utilization of color, line, and form. Drawing from a variety of art historical references, including Egyptian pictography, Native American art, medieval art, and 18th- and 19th-century paintings and etchings, this series is both contemporary and historical. Cut and Paste is, in essence, a compilation of all of the roles women play in Wheat’s vast universe. By bringing them together, the artist unifies these women into a powerful network, working together within a single narrative world.

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Summer Wheat, Collision, 2021, acrylic on aluminum mesh, 172 x 238 cm

Summer Wheat, Collision, 2021, detail

Summer Wheat, Blueberries, 2021, acrylic on aluminum mesh, 172 x 119 cm

Summer Wheat, Amphibians, 2021, acrylic on aluminum mesh, 119 x 172 cm

Summer Wheat, Frog Legs, 2021, acrylic on aluminum mesh, 172 x 119 cm

Summer Wheat, Frog Legs, 2021, detail

Summer Wheat, Peanut Farm, 2021, acrylic on aluminum mesh, 119 x 172 cm

Summer Wheat, Piggy Banks and Strawberries, 2020, acrylic on aluminum mesh, 345 x 238 cm

Summer Wheat, DayQuil, NightQuil, 2021, acrylic on aluminum mesh, 172 x 119 cm

Summer Wheat, DayQuil, NightQuil, 2021, detail

Summer Wheat, Putting out Fires, 2021, acrylic on aluminum mesh, 119 x 172 cm

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