In "Playlist," Suzanne McClelland's first solo exhibition with Marianne Boesky Gallery, sound finds a physical analog. Though the artist has long explored the multiple facets of language in her practice, this new body of work approaches linguistics through music. Accompanied by an 87 hour-long playlist—which spans rapping, singing, speaking, screeching, whistling, and everything in between—the exhibition includes new paintings that pair musicians phonically but depicts their names, suggesting that written language is also a form of musical notation.
In one instance, McClelland crosses Nina Simone's name with that of Meredith Monk's, as the letters in "Simone" stretch across the canvas while the letters in "Monk" appear as if snuck into the "m-o-n" of the former's last name. Music is suggested in other ways as well: raised polymer elements thread through the surface of certain pieces, evoking the duct-taped amp wires often seen at live concerts.
Suzanne McClelland, PLAYLIST in black and white with REDS, 2021. Acrylic, oil and graphite on linen, 75 x 84 inches. Courtesy of the artist and Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York and Aspen. © Suzanne McClelland. Photo credit: Lance Brewer