Kerry Downey

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Artist Statement

As a multidisciplinary artist and teacher, my diverse practice supports an ongoing investigation into how we interact with each other physically, psychologically, and socio-politically. My videos, drawings, prints, and performances reimagine the possibilities and limitations of gender, intimacy, and relationships in late capitalist America. I am interested in how private feelings bleed unpredictably into the public space of the community and surrounding landscape. My work is influenced by my own experience of top surgery and gender queerness, my commitment to queer and feminist collaborations and pedagogies, as well as my role as a caregiver and teacher of people with Alzheimer’s and other disabilities.

My work presents a series of encounters with my body, materials, memories, and histories, shifting between the intimate and remote, the slippery and stable, the poetic and political. I often work serially, building a relational logic wherein images can repeat and transform. The haptic, process-driven qualities of my work are deeply connected to my body as a site of change and uncertainty. I am making visible the material and performative properties of painting and mark-making, as well as the aspects of being a body that move between abstraction and representation. This is seen in the work as a constant play between forms with delineated edges and forms that bleed and flow. This imagery asks the viewer to remain at times unmoored from many traditional narratives and modes of recognition. I am engaging the viewer in closer looking and listening, and through this attentiveness, generating alterior ways of negotiating our bodies and our differences.

For the past two years I’ve been making videos using an overhead projector. I develop imagery on the bed of the overhead using colored gels, cut shapes, liquids, and other mixed media, while filming the projection on the wall. I often interact with these projections using my own body as material, considering the ways we project ideologies and emotions onto others, and how others projections onto me are internalized and negotiated. I work on plexi-glas surfaces that I then use to make monotypes and drawings. The process of making the videos becomes source material for a lexicon of shapes and marks for my works on paper.




Hunter Graduate School of Fine Art; M.F.A. New York City, NY
Glasgow School of Art, M.F.A exchange, Glasgow, Scotland
Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, B.A. in Fine Arts
Yale School of Art, Norfolk, CT


NO ATLAS, Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts Project Space SHIFT residencyexhibition, New York, NY
Queens International, curated by Lindsey Berfond and Hitomi Iwasaki, Queens Museum; Flushing, NY
A new job to unwork at, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, curated by Andrew Kachel and Clara López Menéndez, Los Angeles, CA.
In Search of Conjunctions, The Alice Gallery, Seattle, WA
Underdonk at ESX LA, curated by Ashley Garrett; ESX LA (Eastside International Gallery), Los Angeles, CA
Name It By Trying to Name It, curated by Nova Benway and Lisa Sigal; The Drawing Center, New York, NY
OS4 (in conjunction with Open Sessions), The Drawing Center, New York, NY
Hospital, curated by Matthias Borello; Flux Factory, Long Island City, NY
Sex Without Bodies, Temporary Agency, Brooklyn, NY
Couplings, curated by Piper Marshall; Taylor Macklin, Zurich, Switzerland
We Owe Each Other Everything, curated by Andrew Kachel; Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College, Annandale, NY
Sunken Living Room, curated by Terri Smith; Franklin Street Works, Stamford, CT
Ajar, REVERSE Gallery, curated by Natasha Llorens; Brooklyn, NY
Artist Picks: Kerry Downey, solo screening of seven works, organized by Clara López, Raumerweiterungshalle, Berlin, Germany
Videorover: Season 6, NURTUREart Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
A Terrestrial Cutting and Assemblage, UAL Gallery, London; Curated by Eliza Swann
A Study of Interruptions, Ramapo College’s Berrie Art Center, NJ; curated by Natasha Llorens
O, with Amy Beecher, Garden/Party/Arts, Brooklyn NY; curated by Erin Ikeler and Ariel Roman
The Loneliness of the Middle Distance Runner, Flux Factory, Long Island City, Queens; Curated by Sam Perry
Emotional Blackmail, Curated by Markús Þór Andrésson and Cḥen Tamir, Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery, Ontario
Deconstructing the Habit, curated by Angela Washko, Spattered Columns, NY
How Many People Does It Take to Make a Place, Open Engagement, performance workshop with Elizabeth Hamby, Portland, OR
Shifting Communities, collaboration with Action Club, Hatuey Ramos Fermin and Elizabeth Hamby, curated by Chad Stayrook Bronx River Art Center, NY
Greatest Love of All in conjunction with Congress of the Collectives, site specific
Installation and collaboration with Angela Beallor and Niknaz Tavakolian;
penthouse of the holiday Inn, Long Island City, NY
DOUBLE SESSION, Collaborative project with Douglas Paulson, Christopher Robbins, Ward Shelley, Rancourt/Yatsuk, Chris Domenick (Action Club), Bard Center for Curatorial Studies, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York.
Art & Lies, curated by Risa Shoup, Invisible Dog, Brooklyn, NY
UNPUNISHED, curated by Nayland Blake, Sue Scott Gallery, New York
The Self-Destructing Art Show, Flux Factory, Long Island City, NY
Seven Easy Steps; video screening, Horton Gallery, NY
The Man I Wish I Was, A.I.R. gallery, Brooklyn, NY
One After Another, The National Gallery of Saskatchewan, Canora, Saskatchewan
MFA Thesis Exhibition, Times Square Gallery, New York, NY


Recipient of Joan Mitchell Foundation’s Emerging Artist Grant
First place award for video, Forward Thinking Museum
Nominated for Joan Mitchell Foundation’s MFA Grant Program for Sculpture
Graf Travel Grant for Berlin, Hunter College MFA
Award of Distinction/Trustee Leader Scholars program Bard College
Brewster Terry III Memorial Scholarship for commitment to the liberal arts community, Bard College
Ellen Battell Stoeckel Fellowship, Yale University School of Art
Suzanne Clements Zimmer Prize for Fine Art


SHIFT at the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts Project Space, New York City
Open Sessions, The Drawing Center, New York City
Real Time and Space residency; Oakland, CA
Queer/Art/Mentorship Fellow
Residency at Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, VT


Trolio, Kory, The Range, “We Owe Each Other Everything,” April
Adams, Abraham, Artforum, “Ajar,” October
The Record, “Examining Human Emotions” for Emotional Blackmail, May
Queens Chronicle, “Destroy!,” for Self Destructing Art Show, November
Mtv2, highlighted artist for Independent Week, for Get a Grip: Thesis Exhibition
Queens Chronicle, “Ruminations on Replication,” for Repeat After Me, January,

McGrath, Ben, New Yorker: Talk of the Town, “Dept. of Inspiration: Writers at Work”
Langmuir, Molly, Queens Tribune, Flux Takes ‘Novel’ Approach To Art, May

New York Times Editorial Writing Inside the Box, May
Salamon, Julie, New York Times, Would You, Could You in a Box? (Write, That Is.), May
Salamon, Julie, New York Times, Novelists Who Literally Lived Their Craft, June

Shrier, Sonya, The Brooklyn Rail, “What the Book: Flux Factory,” November