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Jennifer Packer, The Body Has Memory, 2018, oil on canvas, 60 × 48".

Jennifer Packer, The Body Has Memory, 2018, oil on canvas, 60 × 48".

Los Angeles

“Jennifer Packer: Every Shut Eye Ain’t Sleep”

The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA)
250 South Grand Avenue
July 1, 2021–February 21, 2022

Curated by Bennett Simpson

Jennifer Packer’s forthcoming solo exhibition, “Every Shut Eye Ain’t Sleep,” straddles two of the artist’s defining bodies of work. It offers a survey of the enigmatic portraits and still lifes that have fueled her rising acclaim (she was featured prominently in the Whitney Biennial two years ago). But it also presents a substantial and arresting collection of never-before-seen paintings—some monumental in scale—that hint at a subtle shift in direction for the artist. In recent years, Packer’s images have often been tinged with a sense of the elegiac; her almost monochromatic sitters appear ghostly, immersed in an atmosphere redolent of memory and loss. In her new works, the figures are rendered in blazingly bold color, almost reveling in their presentness. They are weighty, bodied, even confrontational. Some even meet the viewer’s gaze directly—and from canvases that command entire walls.