Philadelphia-based artist Jonathan Lyndon Chase explores the ways in which Black, queer bodies navigate everyday spaces. Incorporating aspects of their own biography with elements of fantasy, Chase’s highly charged paintings often include domestic materials such as bedsheets and clothing, revealing an undercurrent of intimacy and tenderness.
With Big Wash — the artist’s first solo museum exhibition — Chase turned their attention to the laundromat, a space that blurs the boundaries of public and private life. Perhaps a mundane place to some, the laundromat is a confluence of responsibilities, escapism, monotony, and interiority.
In 2019, Chase was invited to design and print new fabric in The Fabric Workshop and Museum’s (FWM) screenprinting studios. They then transformed this material into paintings, collages, drawings, sculptures, and video work. Some of the material was sewn into boxer shorts, which were later hung along a clothesline in the gallery. Several of the boxer shorts were subsequently sent to friends as a form of chain letter and expression of closeness during a deep year of isolation.
The Big Wash catalogue, designed by Rush Jackson/ONYX Self-Imaging and edited by curator Karen Patterson, also provides an intimate perspective of the exhibition. Featuring photographs, poetry, and short fiction interwoven with sketches by the artist and installation views, the 100-page catalogue explores kinship, nostalgia, and intimacy — themes of the exhibition and Chase’s larger artistic practice — with works by contributing writers Tiona Nekkia McClodden, noor ibn najam, Meg Onli and Meg Pendoley, jamal rashad, and Yolanda Wisher. The publication also features a foreword from FWM executive director Christina Vassallo as well as an interview between Jonathan Lyndon Chase and Karen Patterson.
To learn more about the book and reserve your copy, visit fabricworkshopandmuseum.org.