The Jenni Crain Foundation

Jenni Crain (1991–2021) was an esteemed artist and curator who passed away suddenly due to complications related to Covid-19. She was widely recognized for her original minimalist sculpture and curatorial projects that championed under-recognized women artists as well as for her rigorous scholarship and writing. Crain was a passionate and tireless advocate of artists and art. Throughout her life, she built a vast community of friends, collaborators, and colleagues whose work she drove forward with generosity, sensitivity, and the deep probing intelligence with which she considered the world.

The Foundation preserves her legacy by supporting transformative projects by artists, curators, and writers of any age at early or pivotal stages of their career.

In honor of her memory, The Jenni Crain Foundation provides grants in two areas:
1. Finishing funds toward the completion of a significant project ranging from an exhibition, arts publication, or work of art across disciplines and forms.
2. Support for original research which may include travel, accommodation, and any funds required for accessing or studying materials.

Donations may be mailed to the address below or made online by clicking here.

A fundraising bandana featuring Crain’s work may be purchased by clicking here. An image of the bandana can be viewed by clicking here.

The Jenni Crain Foundation
130 Third Avenue Brentwood, NY 11717

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Jenni Crain

In an Archipelago Pumice Raft, Toronto, CA Curated by Parker Kay Nicole Coon, Jenni Crain, Lili Huston-Herterich May 5 – May 30, 2021

In an Archipelago features works by Lili Huston-Herterich (Rotterdam), Nicole Coon (Toronto), and Jenni Crain (New York) that explore notions of process, duration, and temporality within an artist’s practice. This multi-site presentation between four billboards and at Pumice Raft gallery considers how the language and metaphors of photography contribute to multifaceted approaches to documentation.

How can an artwork become evidence of a process rather than a finished product? Temporality, which enables an artist’s practice to continue over time, is a durational unfolding where objects exist in a constant state of change that depends on and adapts to their social, spatial, and material contexts. These three artists embrace methods of capturing moments or events that are site-responsive, embodied, and grounded in uncertainty.

In A room with four people (2021), Lili Huston-Herterich presents a series of photographs on four billboards along Ryding Avenue and Runnymede Road, which are located near Pumice Raft. Drawing on methods of character and narrative development through the arrangement of found clothing as bodily forms, each billboard represents one of four characters, each with their name and characteristics presented in text alongside their image. The typefaces used mimic the signs of local businesses in the surrounding area to echo their shared history of textile manufacturing. In the gallery, Huston-Heterich’s manuscript of a play starring these four characters explores cycles of use, labour, and refuse.

Nicole Coon’s site-specific work Sand Sketches cast in plaster #1–4 (2021) is installed as screens for the gallery’s fluorescent light fixtures. The resin casts are made from drawings in sand—the traces of an embodied experience. Whether or not these drawings were executed with a tool or simply a finger, each line is evidence of an impression that adds ideas, feelings, and sensations to a mental image of an event or activity. Through transparency and backlight, Coon transforms her intuitive and playful sketches into liminal images that exist somewhere between an illuminated negative and an embodied sculpture.

Frequently working through structures of viewership and navigation, Jenni Crain’s Untitled (2021) responds to the architectural features of Pumice Raft. Taking its proportions from the gallery’s south-facing windows, this minimal sculpture brings awareness to the viewer’s relationship to their surroundings—how they feel in and move through the space, their corporeal relation to the work itself, as well as to that which exceeds the perimeter of the gallery, such as the domesticated environment viewable from its windows. Crain’s work functions as a form of documentation, pointing toward a reading of architecture and space itself as temporal entities that are forever shifting in relation to past, present, and forthcoming influences.

These three artists understand artworks as containers for an unfolding process and history of relation animated by narrative, embodied action, and material transformation. Like an archipelago, the sum of these works constitutes a reciprocal ecology, one that elaborates on photographic grammar to create productive connections, entanglements, and multiplicities.

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Jenni Crain, Untitled VII (Sections I, II, III), 2021. White oak. Left to right: Section I, 5.5 x 18.75 x 5.5 inches; Section II, 18.75 x 29.75 x 5.5 inches; Section III, 8.75 x 18.75 x 5.5 inches

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Jenni Crain Untitled (Monarch Migration Grove, MX), 1998 / 2021. Photographic print on Kodak Royal Paper. 4 x 6 inches (print)

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Installation view with works by Nicole Coon.

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Installation view with work by Lili Huston-Herterich.

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Installation view with work by Nicole Coon.

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