28 February – 27 March 2020
Josh Lilley is proud to announce the first European exhibition for New Jersey-born, Chicago-based painter Celeste Rapone.
A graduate of the School of the Art Institute, Rapone carries forward the lessons of Chicago Imagism, the peak postwar painting in the region — material invention, humour, high-low free play, and resourcefulness with the figure — while depicting 21st-century narratives.
The paintings in Retreat depict the paradoxical effort it takes for women to find space to do nothing. Escapism — a concept with utopian ambition and a dystopian reverse — brings Rapone’s figures into nature, out of the rooms and domestic scenarios for which the artist has become known in recent years, creating new challenges for an artist deeply engaged with containment as a concept for both the painter in the rectangle and as a woman in the world. Depictions of female leisure thread through the history of art; Rapone’s rigour, and the labour involved in cracking and executing her compositions, refreshes this tradition.
Celeste Rapone (b. 1985, New Jersey, USA) ives and works in Chicago, IL. Rapone received her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2007 and her MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2013. Her work has been shown at Roberts Projects in LA, Steven Zevitas Gallery in Boston, Julius Caesar in Chicago, The Hyde Park Art Center, and the Georgia Museum of Art, and Monya Rowe Gallery in NYC. Her work has been featured in New American Paintings, New City, the Chicago Tribune, and the Georgia Review, and she is a 2018 recipient of a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant. Rapone is a Lecturer in the Painting and Drawing Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She lives and works in Chicago.