Jamie Chan: Gift Sets

July 17th - August 28th

Tif Sigfrids is thrilled to announce the gallery’s first solo exhibition of works by Jamie Chan at its New York City location at 75 East Broadway. Titled Gift Sets, the exhibition comprises new paintings and handmade artists books. Gift Sets will open on July 17th with a reception from 3 – 6 PM. The show remains on view during the gallery’s opening hours Friday and Saturday 11–6, and by appointment, through August 28th.

A consistent theme running through the works included in Gift Sets is best culled from the paintings that Chan creates of post-its. Revolving around a motif taken from a 1991 animated romantic musical film, Beauty and the Beast, these works call to mind the sweetness and volatility characterizing the interior lives of adolescents and the alternate worlds of fairy tales and dreams. At the same time, the repetition of the motif of the beast with a rose makes us think about the labor of practicing a skill, of learning and ideation, including in the practice of painting.

Chan’s paintings are like collections of small gestures, poses, and figures. A hand holding a nail, a hand holding a knife, a plump little tree, a contorted Cerberus: These motifs look as if they belong in the background of an early Netherlandish painting or in the margins of an illuminated manuscript. As allegorical figures they function like punctuation marks directing traffic. Chan mines the history of the Western canon in music, painting, and theater. But the alternate worlds she creates in her own works—the worlds within which these small gestures and figures direct our attention—are very much of her own time.

Since 2014 Chan has been creating a series of handmade artists books (some of these made in collaboration with the artist Marley Freeman). These books incorporate pages of Crate and Barrel catalogues, illustrations from art history books, poems, fragments of correspondence, including remnants from past jobs at The Met and in various retail. Interspersed in-between and superimposed on top of these readymade elements are drawings and watercolors by Chan. As a sort of annotations for paintings, the books are literal tools for artmaking as well as artworks in their own right.

Jamie Chan (b. 1984) is an artist from Los Angeles, now based in Brooklyn. She received her BFA from UCLA in 2006 and her MFA in painting from Bard in 2013. Her work has been shown at Ceysson et Bénétière in NYC, in an installation by Nancy Shaver at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and in project spaces across NYC and LA. In 2018, Chan coauthored with Leah Pires a text, published in 4Columns, about an exhibition of paintings shown inside this same Chinatown mall. Her writing has also appeared in the collection This Long Century (http:/www.thislongcentury.com/jamie-chan). Chan works in Art Education at the School of Visual Arts and is a member of Art Against Displacement.