Shulamit Nazarian is pleased to present Fine Line, an online solo presentation featuring four new paintings by New York-based artist Summer WheatFine Line continues the artist’s interest in depicting the quotidian as monumental. These works celebrate domestic labor and bring attention to that which is often overlooked, both historically and today.

Central to Wheat’s creative practice is an interest in line and gesture as key elements to depict emotion and movement. Line is the fundamental building block through which all of her works are born. In Fine Line, Wheat has reduced her palette to key vibrant colors that sit in contrast to a deeply rich and saturated black ground, marking a decisive step forward in the aesthetics of her paintings. 

These new works also employ Wheat’s signature and innovative method of constructing a painting. Beginning with wire mesh, the artist extrudes paint through the rear of the screen, allowing a textured surface akin to beaded or woven fabric to emerge. This method results in a unique dialogue that combines the histories of materiality, figuration, and abstraction in both fine art and craft milieus.

The title Fine Line is inspired by an idea from twentieth-century painter Piet Mondrian. Carrying this idea with her for the past two decades, Wheat shares his words, “Lines are spaces of and for infinity.”

Her presentation illustrates a redefinition of our relationships to each other, both spatially and emotionally. Conjuring a palette of deep black, Wheat builds an expansive and rich surface that blurs the traditional figure-ground relationship, inspiring a feeling of infinite space.

Wheat’s subjects, always women, are depicted within domestic scenes. The hierarchy of space and time has been flattened, as we witness her subjects engaging in multiple activities at the same time, often stacked spatially upon one another. In the painting Open Drain, a woman bathes, while watering plants, catching fish in a net, and talking on the phone. It is unclear if we are viewing multiple subjects or the same person illustrated over time, an intentional blurring of the individual and the collective.

Seeds mirrors the pent-up fervor of the past year, with figures planting seeds or ingesting them, underling how our actions today can fruit a more promising tomorrow. Her figures and environments underline the banality of the everyday as well as our resilience in difficult times, reminding us that both labor and leisure are paths to healing.  

In Fine Line, Wheat wields the languages of geometric abstraction and minimalism to highlight renewed relationships to personal and communal environments, inspiring hope and reflecting on the potential of tomorrow. In destabilizing the boundaries between figure and ground, representation and abstraction, and fine art and craft, her works speak to a new era of emergence.