Gelah Penn’s work expands on the language of drawing in sculptural space through site-responsive installations and works on paper.
Her work has been exhibited widely, including solo and group exhibitions at the National Academy Museum (New York, NY); Brattleboro Museum (Brattleboro, VT); Itami Museum of Arts and Crafts (Itami, Japan); Bibliotheque Municipale Louis Nucera (Nice, France); Lori Bookstein Fine Art, Sculpture Center, Smack Mellon, Jason McCoy Gallery (New York, NY); Carl Berg Projects (Los Angeles, CA); Real Art Ways (Hartford, CT); and Vox Populi (Philadelphia, PA).
Her work is in the collections of the Columbus Museum (Columbus, GA), Weatherspoon Art Museum (Greensboro, NC), Brooklyn Museum Library (Brooklyn, NY) and Cleveland Institute of Art/Gund Library (Cleveland, OH), and has been reviewed in numerous publications, including Art in America, The New York Times, artcritical.com, The Brooklyn Rail and a feature in Sculpture Magazine.
Penn has received fellowships from the Marie Walsh Sharpe Foundation, Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony. The artist lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
“Through site-responsive installations and works on paper, I expand on the language of drawing in sculptural space.
In the installations, I deploy a variety of synthetic materials to invade, interpret and confound the architectural parameters of a given space. The works in my “Polyglot” drawing series breed internal formal and conceptual contradictions: cohesion and fragmentation, balance and vertigo, minuet and jitterbug.
Areas of visual commotion impinge on the paper’s edge and transpose my investigations into folded, punctured, smudged and layered zones of geometric and expressionistic gestures.
In the “Polyglot Y” series, I incorporate digital images of installation details, thus cannibalizing and reformulating my concerns from one medium to another.
My great interest in film, particularly the shadowy, urban territory of film noir, informs the work.
My aim is to construct a noir-ish interior landscape of perceptual incident and psychological dis-ease; my hope is that the conflation of disparate parts—mark, shadow, geometry, gesture, concord, dissonance—results in some sort of riotous whole.” (Gelah Penn)