You'll Never Make This Again

Whitney Wood Bailey

On View: November 16 - January 18, 2020

Public Viewing Hours:  Tuesday - Saturday 10am - 3 pm or by appointment 


HATHAWAY is proud to present You’ll Never Make This Again, a solo exhibition of new paintings by Brooklyn-based Whitney Wood Bailey. This solo exhibition will be Bailey’s second with HATHAWAY. 

A Georgia native, Whitney Wood Bailey currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. She received her MFA degree in painting in 2008 from the Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta, and her BFA degree in painting from Auburn University. She also studied with the University of Georgia in Cortona, Italy, as well as postgraduate study with Rhode Island School of Design in France. Awarded residencies at the Vermont Studio Center and the Hambidge Center, Whitney was also a finalist for the Forward Arts Foundation Emerging Artist Award, and was featured in New American Paintings. She has exhibited nationally and internationally including Paris, Shanghai and Hong Kong, as well as New York, Miami and around the U.S. 

Driven by questions of a metaphysical nature, Whitney’s work examines how design and orchestration within nature affects our consciousness, and how the extraordinary geometries within nature’s design demand the consideration of intelligent design as well as our notions of spirituality. 

She combines forms that are organic in creation with carefully placed predetermined mark making. The linear hatch marks (“ticking”) in the work inspired by visits to the ancient art caves of France, represent a form of structure applied to the naturally occurring elements within this painting process. The combination of the two suggests the idea of an intersection of faith and reason, and instinct and intellect; dualities she continues to explore in her work. 

You’ll Never Make This Again 

You’ll never make this again” was something another artist said to me in reference to one of my paintings early in my career. Years later, that phrase has lingered with me, accruing new layers of meaning which has affected my work in many ways. 

Entering into motherhood, as well as developing and learning how to manage a chronic illness, has been the parallel narrative to the creation of this body of work. During this season, the phrase “you’ll never make this again” became a resounding cadence in my mind, holding new meaning which threatened my identity as an artist. In an attempt to face new anxieties head on, I returned to ideas, processes, and concepts which I had been working with during the time I first heard the phrase “you’ll never make this again.” Instead of recreating past work, I found that something new and exciting inevitably emerged from my painting process. I would never be the same again, and neither would my work. This body of work is incredibly meaningful to me, as through it I learned that these life-shifts should be welcomed and embraced. 

Using both organic and highly controlled painting techniques, the resulting compositions in my work are a dance between excess and restraint, impulse and logic. It is through this dance that I can insert my current circumstances into a larger and more profound narrative, thus giving new purpose and vitality to my life experience as well as my work. I am interested in providing the space and opportunity for the viewer to enter into a similar process of contemplation. 

In my personal experience, I have found that it is possible for a greater capacity for both joy and gratitude to emerge from seasons of difficulty. This new understanding has been the driving force behind my work for the past year since my diagnosis. “You’ll Never Make This Again” is an exploration into the impact that self-sacrifice, pain, suffering, and healing can have on both life and art.