on the wall: Jessica Vaughn

3 March - 28 April 2018

The tickets are objects of circulation that are kept close to the body, held in hands, wallets, and pockets by the numerous unnamed consumers of these tickets before they make their way to the grounds of city streets.  Her accumulation of this paper is constructed around chance, and systems of decay.  Both minimal and tactile in its presentation, Vaughn’s site-specific installation deploys found material to reflect on aspects of exchange and loss.


Vaughn works in a variety of forms: sculpture, photography and mixed media.  Her research-based practice considers how materials – new, used, and discarded – are made, where they are produced, what they are traditionally used for, how institutions acquire them, and how they inhabit space. This research into specific materials rubs up and against questions of labor, authority, economics and considers how abstracted figurations of accumulated material can reveal what it means to occupy and to circulate through spaces, largely governed by civic and commercial institutions.  As Laila Pedro writes, Vaughn’s “restrained conceptual works subtly evoke the experiential dimension of mass-produced objects.” Exemplifying this conceit, Vaughn’s notable ongoing project After Willis utilizes discarded CTA el-train seats as a medium through which to explore formal notions such as seriality and repetition, as well as larger cultural ideas related to race, class, and displacement.


Jessica Vaughn (b. 1983, Chicago, IL) received a B.H.A. from Carnegie Mellon University and an M.F.A. from the University of Pennsylvania. Her critically-acclaimed debut solo exhibition at Martos Gallery, New York, Receipt of a Form (2017), was featured in Artforum, the New York Times, and Hyperallergic, among others. Additional selected group exhibitions include:  Invisible Man, Martos Gallery, NY (2017); Material Deviance, Sculpture Center, NY (2017); Itinerant Belongings, Slought Foundation, Philadelphia, PA (2014); Round 39: Looking Back, Moving Forward, Project Row Houses, Houston, TX (2013); and Fore, The Studio Museum in Harlem, NY (2012). She was a Visiting Artist, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL (2016); and Artist-in-Residence at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Skowhegan, ME (2015); The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, NY (2016); and the Whitney Independent Study Program, NY (2013). Forthcoming exhibitions include Front International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art, opening July 2018.