"Humphries’s lightbox paintings are made with fluorescent paint on translucent fabric,
set within a lightbox, and lit with a black light—sneering X-ray abstractions.
These and her paintings on canvas lit by black lights coolly
conjure the nocturnal energy of a sweaty danceclub."
Clockwork Lemon, 2005,
oil and enamel on linen
Jacqueline Humphries: There’s a play between the paintings and the non-paintings. I wanted to see if real paintings would behave differently in this space, an auto garage, than if they were simply in a white space with other paintings. I left a trace to point to an absence with the wall paintings. So there’s something there as a way of saying there’s nothing there. It’s almost like the hyperpresence is the paintings themselves, the presence is the room itself, and the absence is those black paintings on the wall that give the sense of the reality of the environment having vanished.
Cecily Brown: Exactly what happened in New Orleans—
Jacqueline Humphries: Displacement and disappearance. Architecture, of course, is a very important register of the events that occurred. You go there and see how the architecture has been affected, and you think, These were homes, lives happened here. I wanted that context, which is why I chose a space with all the texture and ambiance of New Orleans; it’s decayed, its paint is peeling, it’s old, it’s dirty, it’s soggy, and baked. It’s all those adjectives that characterize the look and feel of the city, before the hurricane and after.