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

Upon Reflection
Y Gallery, New York, NY
August 7 – September 6, 2015

Y Gallery is pleased to present, Upon Reflection, the first solo exhibition of works by Jenni Crain.

The exhibition is composed of four sculptures, Gestures 1-4, and one painting, Gesture (Painting 1). Utilizing the fundamental materials of both basic and complex construction, Gestures 1-4, investigate the conceptual connotations of the frame. The frame in itself a basic structure that supports a concept, a composition, and/or a form. The sculptures stand as windows and as walls reflecting and absorbing the affect of light’s impression in/on space. This reflection and absorption synchronistic to the interpretation of inner and outer, interior and exterior. An active polarity both presented and personal. Crain employs these material and structural implications as a referential convergence to the frame’s customary relationship to an art object; the frame as the foundation of constructed space, be it the gallery or the home; and the frame as metonym for human form. In Gesture (Painting 1), Crain engages conventional material means (pastel and cold medium wax on canvas) in a manner adoptive of the gestural application of leveling, spreading and shaping concrete or mortar in construction. The pallet knife synonymous to the trowel. The surface appears as minimally treated. The deliberate build up of minute alterations to each sequential substratum barely perceptible. The surface simultaneously suggests the subtle discrepancies of a wall/a skin and the luminescence/atmospheric aridity of light reflected, transmitted, or absorbed.

While the exhibition title, Upon Reflection, demonstrates the material conditions of the works at hand, it doubly performs to elicit an emotional rumination and response. The entitlement of the individual works as gestures evokes the premise of the use of physical movements and/or positioning as expressions of both thought and emotion. These works stand not only in their formal qualities but also in their capacity of emotive influence and interpretation.


Gesture (Painting 1), 2015. Pastel and cold medium wax on canvas, aluminum frame. 4 x 4 feet


Gesture 3, 2015. Cement board, baltic birch plywood, hardware. 4' x 8" x 4'


Gesture 2, 2015. Tempered glass, stainless steel base, hardware. 4' 4" x 8 1/4" x 4' 1/2"


Gesture 1, 2015. Cement board, baltic birch plywood, hardware. 4' x 8" x 4'


Gesture 4, 2015. Tempered glass, baltic birch plywood, hardware. 4' x 8" x 4'