Celeste Dupuy-Spencer

Prospect 5. Yesterday we said tomorrow (group show)
Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans
6 November 2021 – 23 January 2022

Installation view: Prospect 5: Yesterday we said tomorrow, Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans, 2021-22. Photo: Jonathan Traviesa, courtesy of Prospect New Orleans
Installation view: Prospect 5: Yesterday we said tomorrow, Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans, 2021-22. Photo: Jonathan Traviesa, courtesy of Prospect New Orleans

Works by Celeste Dupuy-Spencer are included in the group exhibition Prospect 5: Yesterday we said tomorrow, on view at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art until 22 January 2022.

The artist’s work grapples with the subtle and horrific violence of white supremacy in the United States through history painting, of a past both real and imagined. The suite of paintings on view in Prospect 5 are fantastical depictions of this reality envisioned across time. They range from the retelling of a New Testament story about demons to an image of military conquest, from revealing the intertwined nature of whiteness and Christianity to scenes of the end of the world. Notably, Don’t You See That I Am Burning was painted following the insurrection at the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021. This wild, detailed painting references historical works as well as images drawn directly from news coverage of this event. In looking across centuries and into the future, Dupuy-Spencer asks us to contend with the legacies of terror and violence that birthed this nation, forged its ideology, and continue to shape our political and social lives.

Prospect 5: Yesterday we said tomorrow
is the fifth edition of Prospect New Orleans, a citywide art exhibition. Inspired by New Orleans jazz musician Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah’s 2010 album Yesterday You Said Tomorrow, the title of the exhibition centers the unspoken present, the place where past and future come together, and where other courses of action become possible. The exhibition title also implies the deferral of meaningful change, which often comes slowly or not at all. The artists and ideas that define this exhibition confront this truth, and the stark realities of history, but also suggest that we might yet plot a different future.

Ogden Museum of Southern Art


Louise Bonnet, Celeste Dupuy-Spencer et al.

Women Painting Women (group show)
Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth
15 May – 25 September 2022

Works by Louise Bonnet and Celeste Dupuy-Spencer are included in the group exhibition Women Painting Women, which will be on view at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth from 15 May until 25 September 2022.

Women Painting Women is a thematic exhibition featuring 46 female artists who choose women as subject matter in their works. This presentation includes approximately 50 evocative portraits that span the late 1960s to the present. International in scope, Women Painting Women recognizes female perspectives that have been underrepresented in the history of postwar figuration. Painting is the focus of the exhibition, as traditionally it has been a privileged medium for portraiture, particularly for white male artists. The artists here use painting and women as subject matter as vehicles for change and range from early trailblazers like Alice Neel and Emma Amos to emerging artists such as Jordan Casteel and Apolonia Sokol. Some, such as Jenny Saville, work on large canvases, producing images that dwarf the space around them, while others, including Somaya Critchlow, paint on a modest scale that invites close viewing. All place women—their bodies, gestures, and individuality—at the forefront.

Four themes trend in the works included in Women Painting Women: The Body, Nature Personified, Color as Portrait, and Selfhood. Through these themes, the artists conceive new ways to activate and elaborate on the portrayal of women. Replete with complexities, realness, abjection, beauty, complications, everydayness, and joy, the portraits in this exhibition make way for female artists to share the stage with their male counterparts in defining the image of woman and how it has evolved.

Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth

Giulia Andreani, Louise Bonnet, Celeste Dupuy-Spencer et al.

Stretching the Body (group show)
Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebardengo, Torino
5 November 2021 – 30 January 2022

The Stretching the Body group exhibition brings together a group of thirteen women artists from different generations and geographical origins, who through the medium of painting reflect on the genre of portraiture and the theme of the human figure. The exhibition title is a play on words in the English language, referencing the classic action of stretching the canvas and the physical exercise of stretching in order to highlight the space of painting as a physical and conceptual perimeter within which to explore new notions of corporeality.

Through a variety of stylistic stratagems, the exhibition artists distance themselves from the canon of representing the body in the Western pictorial tradition, investigating issues central to today, like racial identity, gender identity, power relations, memory and knowledge as they traverse physical experience.

Elongated or deformed, abstract or geometrically constructed, the body lies at the centre of their artistic investigation and formal experimentation, emerging as a contested space, a zone of conflict between definitions and belonging, in which limits between subject and object are continually called into question.

The exhibition is laid out as two main spaces: the first presents works that depict a broad range of scenes, exploring the relationship between individual figures, groups of people and domestic/urban architectural spaces. Laden with references to genres and iconography from the history of painting, as well as more contemporary imagery, these works create microcosms in which bodies live and act, tell stories and offer experiences about our private and collective lives.

In a dynamic process of deconstruction/reconstruction that tests the very limits of perceiving and defining the human figure, body manipulation is accentuated in the second exhibition space. The resulting bodies are multiform, fragmented, ambiguous, fused, exposed, immense, fluid, and paradoxical: leveraging the pictorial medium’s expressive possibilities, the artists assert the illusory nature of the univocal, normative concept of identity, celebrating the multiplicity that exists within and beyond the boundaries of our skin.

Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo