Jennifer Rochlin

Paintings on Clay

2 May – 12 July 2024

New York, 22nd Street

Beginning 2 May, Hauser & Wirth New York will present Rochlin’s most recent series of large-scale hand-built terra cotta vessels on which she offers up an autobiographical journey—intimate scenes of her life and loves, of nature observed and of her own responses to the greats of art history. ‘Jennifer Rochlin. Paintings on Clay’ will remain on view on the second floor of the gallery’s 22nd Street building through 12 July.

Rochlin’s three-dimensional compositions coalesce largely without planning. While sketched in advance, the shapes of her vessels ultimately depart from classical form and symmetry through a laborious hand-building process that permits—indeed, encourages—distortion. Bodily, eccentric and imposing, the vessels’ commanding physicality prompts viewers to trace their curves and walk around them to follow the sequence of vignettes that travel their circumferences.

Los Angeles-based painter Jennifer Rochlin embarked upon a shift toward three-dimensionality sixteen years ago when an unexpected teaching opportunity brought her into close contact with clay for the first time. Enchanted by its tactility and unpredictability, she discovered in the material a new channel for expression. Rochlin’s now-celebrated voluptuous clay vessels dominate the artist’s practice as canvases for her memories, idealized visions and the unfiltered biographical narratives she unspools over their undulating forms with palpable libidinal force. In her painted and glazed scenes, family, friends and partners are intertwined with trees and leaves that signify the passage of time through changing seasons. Wistfulness transitions seamlessly into humor or fades into unabashed adoration of nature’s enveloping beauty. Fluctuating between idealized depictions and unembellished honesty, Rochlin’s imagery conveys a tender and genuine sense of longing.

Current Exhibitions