BETHANY COLLINS: EVENSONG
Frist Art Museum / 919 Broadway June 11, 2021 - September 12, 2021
Bethany Collins: Evensong, an exhibition of multimedia works- including paintings, drawings, prints, an artist’s book, and wallpaper - that explore the historic intersection of language and race. Organized by the Frist Art Museum, the exhibition will be on view in the Frist’s Gordon Contemporary Artists Project Gallery from June 11 through September 12, 2021.
In her conceptually driven practice, Chicago-based artist Bethany Collins (b. 1984) mines official publications - from dictionaries to newspapers to government reports - to find words or phrases that reflect a cultural ethos, particularly those related to racial and national identities. “The Frist is pleased to be presenting a selection of this increasingly in-demand artist’s timely work. After the 2016 presidential election, Collins deepened her study of past texts in an effort to better understand the present great divide,” says Frist Art Museum senior curator Katie Delmez. “This exhibition explores the complicated relationship of a person with their homeland.”
To create many of the works on view at the Frist, Collins painstakingly reproduced selected texts through various means, such as blind-embossed printing, laser cutting, or tedious handwriting, and then manipulated the final form in some way. “By altering existing documents, Collins critiques the accuracy of the historical record and highlights the suggestive power of words,” says Delmez. “Often intentionally hard to read, Collins’s creations also offer commentary on the insidious nature of systemic inequities.”
Bethany Collins. The Star-Spangled Banner: A Hymnal (detail), 2020. Book with 100 laser-cut leaves (Edition of 3, 2AP), 9 x 6 x 1 in. Courtesy of the artist and PATRON Gallery, Chicago.
© Bethany Collins. Photo: Evan Jenkins