Wheat’s silhouetted figures herald a tradition in which women were the ordinal hunters, technologists, and artists. Continuing to explore the archetype of the female hunter and its many iterations, the heroines in her recent series are beekeepers— women laborers who sort through a swarming chaos to extract the honey. Her work explores women who wield insight into the natural world and the complex depths of the unconscious.
The work depicts women both at work in the swarm of bees and at rest after the honey harvest. The bees surround the women, a kind of chaos laced with danger. Like the buzzing cloud that we navigate each day in the modern world, the female beekeepers work through the swarm in search of the reward and sustenance of honey— a symbol of nourishment, sensuality, and wealth. Inspired by Egyptian pictographs, Native American motifs, medieval biblical illustration, Toulouse-Lautrec’s compositions, and Dürer’s etched line, Wheat’s work synthesizes an array of traditions to create a new tradition where the female beekeeper is depicted and celebrated.
Summer Wheat (b. 1977, Oklahoma City, OK) received an MFA from Savannah College of Art and Design and a BA from University of Central Oklahoma. Recent solo exhibitions include Smack Mellon, New York (2018); Andrew Edlin Gallery, New York (2018); Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle (2017); Braverman Gallery, Tel Aviv, Israel (2017); and Oklahoma Contemporary, Oklahoma City (2016). Her work has been featured in recent museum exhibitions, including America Will Be! Surveying the American Landscape, Dallas Museum of Art (2019), ICA Collection: Expanding the Field of Painting, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (2013–14); Paint Things: Beyond the Stretcher, deCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, Lincoln, MA (2013); and Paradox Maintenance Technicians: A Comprehensive Manual to Contemporary Painting from Los Angeles and Beyond, Torrance Art Museum, Torrance, CA (2013). She is the recipient of the Artadia Prize given to one artist at 2016 NADA New York.
Made in Brooklyn, NY. Standard 18"x24" size for easy and affordable framing or let us frame it in our hand made Vermont maple museum frame featuring walnut splines, archival UV blocking glazing and acid free mounting.
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