Electric Mayhem: Caroline Wells Chandler and Jennifer Coates

May 24 - June 23, 2018

CRUSHCURATORIAL is pleased to present Electric Mayhem: Caroline Wells Chandler and Jennifer Coates, a two person show with collaborative works by Chandler and Coates as well as a selection of their individual pieces made in response to each other's work specifically for this show. 

Electric Mayhem is the name of the band on The Muppet Show that had their debut in 1975 and featured colorful puppets playing rock music. Electric Mayhem is best manifested in the character of Animal, who played drums and couldn’t contain his unwieldy orange and pink energy, and whose spirit has inhabited their collaborative drawings. Chandler and Coates have been drawing together for months, while watching early episodes of Sesame Street and The Muppet Show, using the psychedelic, imaginary creatures as inspiration. Riffing on art history as much as puppets from the 1970s, they have reimagined figures from Fragonard, Matisse, Ensor and Bosch, situating them in candy colored landscapes, buzzing with alien-like auras. Characters from Star Wars carry giant crayons and deliver nasty messages; money takes on strange new meaning; Santa has a minty anus. In addition to the collaborative drawings, Chandler and Coates will also be showing their own work. They have both been inspired by Matisse’s Joy of Life, with its intense, saturated color and utopian vision of pleasure. Chandler’s crocheted, gender-bending, tube sock wearing, dancing characters cavort and telepathically communicate with Coates’ animal spirits in the trippy, confectionary forest. This show was inspired by their friendship and their belief that they are cosmic siblings who are eternally bonded in the interlocking, buzzing spirals that exist on the flat surface on the outside of the universe and code what we think is reality. 



There will be a drunk panel discussion on June 8, 6-8PM at CRUSHCURATORIAL with Angela Dufresne and David Humphrey in conjunction with a zine release.   Special cocktail will be served. 


On June 17th, from 3:15-5:45, Chandler and Coates will be hosting a collaborative drawing workshop with music playing, vintage Sesame Street streaming and drawing assignments hosted by the National Academy of Design and David Humphrey, NA. This is a part of BOMBPOP! Production called "How To"  - three days of immersive art, music and dance  at the National Academy of Design, 5 East 89th Street, New York, NY.


Caroline Wells Chandler  (American, b. 1985) lives and works in Queens, NY.  Stemming out of a 1970's feminist craft history, Chandler's brightly colored hand crocheted figures explore queerness and the art historical canon.  He received his BFA from Southern Methodist University (Dallas, TX) in 2007 and his MFA from Yale University in 2011 where he received the Ralph Mayer Prize for proficiency in materials and techniques.  From 2016-17 he was a recipient of the Sharpe Walentas Studio Program.  He has had recent solo exhibitions at Andrew Rafacz (Chicago, IL), Lord Ludd (Philadelphia, PA), Roberto Paradise (San Juan, PR) and Field Projects (New York, NY).  In August, Chandler will have a two person show with Kari Cholnocky at Left Field (San Luis Obispo, CA).  Recent group exhibitions include  Dio Horia (Mykonos, Greece), MRS. (Maspeth, NY), Kate Werble Gallery (New York, NY), 11R (New York, NY), The Hole (New York, NY), and Brand New Gallery (Milan, Italy).  His work has been featured in The New York Times, Hyperallergic, The Huffington Post, TimeOut, Juxtapoze, Modern Painters, and AEQAI.  Chandler is the proud papa bear of his painting and drawing students at Pratt Institute, Montclair State, and Norwalk Community College.  Jennifer Coates is one of his best friends.


Jennifer Coates (American, b. 1973) is an artist based in Queens, NYC and Poyntelle, PA. Recent solo shows include "Correspondences" (2018) and "All U Can Eat" (2017) at Freight and Volume Gallery, NYC;  "Carb Load" (2016) at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA. Two person shows include "Phrogz" (2017) with David Humphrey at Fiendish Plots in Lincoln, Nebraska and "Tom Burckhardt and Jennifer Coates" (2014) at Valentine Gallery, Queens, NYC. Recent group shows include Mrs. Gallery (Queens, NY), Kate Werble Gallery, (New York, NY), LabSpace, (Hillsdale, NY) and Jeff Bailey Gallery (Hudson, NY).  She was the recipient of the Stewart/MacMillan Endowed Chair in painting at MICA in 2015. Her work has been written about in The New York Times, The Brooklyn Rail, Huffington Post, Two Coats of Paint, Smithsonian Magazine, Juxtapoze, Art Info and Art News. She has been interviewed in several publications including Hyperallergic, Art Critical and White Hot Magazine. She has also written for Bomb Magazine, Modern Painters, Art in America, The Brooklyn Rail and Time Out New York. She received her MFA from Hunter College and her BFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and University of Pennsylvania. She has taught at SUNY Purchase, the New York Academy of Art, Montclair State University, MICA, RISD and the University of the Arts. Caroline Chandler is one of her best friends.