June 27th – August 9th, 2019
Best known for drawings and collages indexing downtown New York in the 80s by its telling debris (notably her Found Dope series), Candy Jernigan’s (d. 1991) diaristic body of work assigned temporal and regional specificity to all the artist encountered. To, From, the second exhibition of Jernigan’s work at Greene Naftali, brings together a selection of the artist’s journals and drawings spanning travels to Italy, the Yucatan, the Midwest, Australia, and regular visits to Cape Breton, Canada.
Jernigan’s travel works span series of landscapes chronicling hourly atmospheric changes; taxonomies of incidental trash like bottle caps and pop tops from around the world; and renderings of the at times inscrutable paraphernalia of travel, faithfully committing transit systems’ numeric systems and foreign languages from train tickets to paper. Frequently, the artist intersects these subject matter, in order to more precisely position her drawings in space and time. Landscapes painted over several trips to Italy reinforce their temporal singularity, painted over and alongside humble documents of Jernigan’s adjacent activities that day. In Ayer’s Rock, Jernigan pairs a succinct, picturesque landscape—painted from a postcard adhered to one of her travel journals—with a studied sequence of various gravel. Testifying to another dimension of the site’s verisimilitude is a map of its location in the lower left corner. A sequence of drawings from Cape Breton, made over the course one single day, traces daily fluctuations with an economy of means. In a small, snapshot-sized rectangle, Jernigan records slight chromatic shifts across a swath of ocean enveloped in two shreds of land, and the sky. Jernigan’s drawings evidencing transit itself—tickets and baggage tags—are often dated not by Jernigan’s hand but by the transactional stamp marking arrival and departure dates in passports. Assigning her drawings to discrete “travel series,” accompanying them with color keys, Jernigan further enforces a complex system categorizing her drawings and the conditions of their making.
Also on view in vitrines are a selection of Jernigan’s extensive notebooks. Jernigan gleans indigenous character from even the most general of objects—collecting and bagging samples of dirt or sugar, stapling them to pages of her notebooks—and incorporates them into the rhythm and texture of her travel days. An eggshell is accompanied by a timed and dated entry in tiny, intricate handwriting, detailing haggling over the item because of a torn bill. One journal from travels during Christmas periodically contains streamers and stray confetti. Hotel stays are evidenced equally by stationary and toilet paper. In one vitrine is an accordion notebook, which opens to a panoramic view of Cape Breton. The drawing stretches from a shoulder in the road on which a car is parked and a single home buried in the trees, across a long span of ocean, and ends in a small patch of homes and RVs in another wooded area. The sky in the landscape transitions from blue to black, documenting changes in the weather, or the lapse in time from when Jernigan began the drawing.