Austyn Weiner: Morning Wood

May 13, 2021 - June 26, 2021

Harper’s is pleased to present Morning Wood, a solo exhibition of works by Los Angeles-based artist Austyn Weiner at Harper’s Apartment in New York City. The multimedia presentation will include paintings and works on paper created throughout the last year, as well as a video installation compiled from Weiner’s virtual quarantine diary (recorded on Instagram stories). The gallery is open to the public from 12 to 6pm, Thursday through Saturday.

Morning Wood is a retrospective of 2020 as told by the narrative of Weiner’s visual art and performance. While known for her abstract paintings marked by their exuberant line work, vibrant palette, and gesture, Weiner took to social media and began a daily morning broadcast as a result of isolation in quarantine throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The performance began as a response to solitude and eventually became a ritual to the self, and a time capsule of self-identification. 

Weiner’s reverence for the early morning amplified the absence of touch and intimacy. Though she was able to create a connection with people through the diaristic performance of her daily broadcast, “Morning Wood,” the isolation forced a constant confrontation with her role as an artist and a woman. While grappling with overcoming an addiction during this time, Weiner experienced solitude as a creative space for a romance with herself—a profound experience that reinvigorated an intimate sense of privacy within her work. 

When the mandatory quarantine orders broke her trajectory of painting that was growing larger in scale, Weiner began creating drawings and writings within the confines of a wooden table in her kitchen. There, she began to compose letters to herself, employing the mail carrier as a medium to connect with her future and past selves, capturing points in time that amalgamate the complexity of the beast she becomes when alone with her work. Her drawings serve as homes for this volatility and aggressiveness that lives within her body, caged by a society that feigns acceptance and rejects true expression from women. While the imprint of Weiner’s complete identity lives in her work, the dissociation between public and private female identities continues to present quandaries to her corporeal existence. Ironically, Weiner’s icons such as Willem De Kooning and Jean Dubuffet experienced no such restrictions, causing her to wonder: “Who would I be if that beast inside didn’t have a place to live outside of me?” 

Emerging from the turbulence of 2020, Weiner’s paintings have become more abstract, yet refined. Some expand from a blueprint on paper, while others are an organic response to the unbridled parts of identity that were unearthed in quarantine when Weiner would spring up in the morning and work at her wooden table. Presented together for the first time at Harper’s Apartment—an ode to the domestic environment they were created in—these new drawings, paintings, and video installation are both a reflection of our collective year in isolation and a preview of a new direction that Weiner projects for the days to come.

Welcome to Morning Wood, with our special guest, Austyn Weiner. 

Austyn Weiner (b. 1989, Miami, FL) studied photography at the University of Michigan and Parsons School of Design prior to relocating to Los Angeles, where she currently lives and works. Select solo and group exhibitions include Harper’s Apartment, New York (2021); König Galerie, Berlin (2021); Fredericks & Freiser, New York (2021); Carl Kostyál, London (2020); Library Street Collective, Detroit (2020); Kohn Gallery, Los Angeles (2020); The Pit, Glendale, CA (2020); Rental Gallery, East Hampton (2020); Journal Gallery, New York (2019); and Bill Brady Gallery, Miami (2018). Her work has been featured in publications such as Artforum, Artnetand Vogue, among others.