© Emily Weiner

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Emily Weiner

Nashville, Tennessee

Artist Statement

My paintings—oil on linen, set in ceramic or mixed-media frames—rely on intuition, personal history, research, and time. They question how images and stories are shared and translated across generations, asking: What role has visual culture played in writing our histories? Why have certain materials been championed in the history of art, while others—particularly those associated with women's work such as ceramics—have been relegated to the realm of craft? How can symbols be reordered and reframed to affirm primary desires that individuals share, while transcending the stories of our canons?

I am a third-generation Jewish New Yorker, living and working in the American South since 2018. In recent paintings I have been thinking about performance—as a means of recounting stories, but most importantly as a survival mechanism within an ever-shifting society. These recent paintings look to theater as a parallel space of paradox and suspended disbelief. They investigate the trope of "Mundus Inversus" (latin for "Upside-Down World") which began as a phenomenon in Greek drama wherein traditional roles were often reversed. Symbolism in my recent works draws from Yiddish theater, Greek drama, Commedia dell'arte, and music; while referencing the ongoing importance of reconciling gravity with levity.

My investigation into archetypal imagery is informed in part by Carl Jung's theories of the collective unconscious. I approach each painting without a clear plan, and by working in many layers of paint, I try to find synchronicity in combinations of colors, forms, and symbols. These combinations ultimately form their own narratives, which have strong resonances with both personal and collective experience. I hand-build multimedia frames for each painting through a similar intuitive process, elevating the frame's importance from a secondary status of ornamentation to a vital part of the artwork that demarcates a space of suspended disbelief, much like the proscenium of a stage.

© Emily Weiner

Emily Weiner's Portfolio

© Emily Weiner

Artist Biography

Emily Weiner (b. Brooklyn, 1981) is a painter living and working in Nashville, TN. She received her BA from Barnard College, Columbia University (2003) and her MFA in Fine Arts at the School of Visual Arts (2011). She is represented by Red Arrow Gallery in Nashville. She has exhibited at venues including Whitespace Gallery (Atlanta), Kunsthall Grenland (Norway), We Space (Shanghai), Gerdarsafn Museum (Iceland), and Soloway (Brooklyn). She has been a Visiting Artist at the American Academy in Rome; residency co-leader at Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts, Newcastle, Maine; Artist Teacher-Resident at The Cooper Union, NYC; artist-in-residence at The Banff Centre, Canada; and resident at Camac Center in France. Her work has received press in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Artforum, the BBC, New American Paintings, ArtNews, Domus, and The Brooklyn Rail, among other platforms. She is adjunct faculty at Watkins College of Art; and was previously Associate Adjunct Professor in Painting at Pratt Institute and faculty in Visual and Critical Studies at The School of Visual Arts in NYC.



© Emily Weiner

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