Rebecca Ness,  Closet , 2019, oil on canvas, 60 x 120 inches

Rebecca Ness, Closet, 2019, oil on canvas, 60 x 120 inches

Rebecca Ness: Twice Over

Exhibition Dates
September 8 – October 27, 2019

Opening Reception
Sunday, September 8 from 6–8pm


1969 Gallery presents Twice Over, a solo exhibition of new paintings by Rebecca Ness. The exhibition opens on Sunday, September 8 and runs through Sunday, October 27, 2019.

Focusing on how our inner selves are expressed outwardly, Rebecca Ness has created a new series of work that examine figures in ordinary states of dress and undress. Whether putting on shoes, or reading on the train, people in her paintings connect nonverbally, with an emphasis on their selected external presentations, which so often act as coded clues and signals, especially within minority communities, that can reveal or camouflage interior states of being. 

The richly layered compositions, full of bright colors and contrasting textures and patterns, are based on digital collages, created from drawings, photos, and pieces of previous paintings. In her largest paintings, Ness creates expansive worlds within works, daring the viewer to lose themselves inside the composition. Even in her more publicly oriented works, where passersby on trains peruse the newspaper, Ness highlights the intimacy possible even with nameless neighbors, whose bodies are so close, yet minds so distant, lost in their own narratives.

Current sources of inspiration range from painters Norman Rockwell and Kerry James Marshall to cartoonist Alison Bechdel and visual games like “I Spy”. This body of work also incorporates new mark-making techniques; Ness, now thinking more sculpturally, scavenges assorted tools to make interesting textures, especially visible in her depiction of skin. In addition, her new paintings take a more documentarian approach, with the artist working more from photographs than in past bodies of work.

Rebecca Ness (b. 1992, Salem, MA), lives and works in New Haven, CT. She received an MFA from Yale School of Art and a BFA from Boston University. Her work was recently included in group shows at Monya Rowe (New York, NY), Danese/Corey (New York, NY), Richard Heller Gallery (Los Angeles, CA), 1969 Gallery (New York, NY), and Gildar Gallery (Denver, CO), among others. She has completed residencies at The Chautauqua Institution (Chautauqua, NY) and the Venice Studio Arts Program (Venice, IT).

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