Vaughn Spann - AMERICAN AFRICAN AMERICAN New York Friday, February 8, 2019 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    Night Gallery, Los Angeles
    Private Collection, Los Angeles

  • Catalogue Essay

    Born 1992, Orlando, FL

    2018 MFA, Yale School of Art, New Haven, CT
    2014 BFA, Rutgers State University, Newark, NJ

    Selected honors: Titus Kaphar’s Next Haven Residency (2018); New American Paintings Cover Artists (2018); Alice Kimball English Traveling Fellowship (2017); Leopoldo Villareal III Scholarship at Yale University (2017)
    Selected museum exhibitions and performances: Mennello Museum of American Art, Orlando, FL; Yale School of Art, New Haven, CT; and the Reginald F. Lewis Museum, Baltimore, MD.
    Selected public collections: Rubell Family Collection, Miami, FL; Credit Suisse Corporate Collection

    One of the most talked about emerging artists of the past year, Vaughn Spann moves between figuration and abstraction with equal ease. Spann approaches painting with a highly distinct material-based approach, using twine, fabric, spray and oil paint, t-shirts and paper and other materials readily found in hardware stores or from his local environment to expand the possibilities of painting. Engaging in a type of social abstraction, Spann places the importance of family and everyday materials at the core of his practice. Spann spent his childhood learning the craft of working with his hands from his grandparents, who passed down their knowledge of sewing to the family. In Spann’s hands, everyday materials are transformed into abstract works rich with color and texture.

    Since graduating with a MFA from Yale School of Art in 2018, Spann’s work has participated in 15 group shows across the United States in the past year alone. Antwaun Sargent, reviewing the exhibition Street Block: Lost/Found/Chance at Jenkins Johnsons Projects in New York for The New York Times in August 2018, highlighted Spann’s unique approach to Minimalism: “Mr. Spann, 25, seemed to be thinking of the block as a unit of measurement; its capacity to form a component of a larger whole. To achieve this, the work is made of terry cloth, painted black and broken into pieces that form a city grid, circling another grid. It underscores Mr. Spann’s belief that ‘we are all enmeshed within the grid, both functioning within it and fighting to work against it.’” An artist to watch, Spann’s first solo exhibition at Half Gallery in New York was selected as one of Artnet News Editor’s picks in November 2018.

  • Artist Biography

    Vaughn Spann

    Vaughn Spann is an American contemporary artist whose practice explores the natures of space, memory, and time using the ostensibly competing languages of abstraction and figuration. Approaching his work through traditional formalistic lenses focusing on line, color, and shape, Spann locates subjects from deeply personal spaces and articulates their essences on the painted surface, using metaphysical reflections to question our experiencing of the world around us.

    Spann uses painting to recreate encounters with people and places he finds compelling, gauging their essences when viewed through in retrospect. His experimentations with unconventional materials augments his explorations of personal and historical narratives. Spann lives and works in New Haven, Connecticut, where he also received his MFA from Yale University.

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DALMATIAN NO. 6 (Desert Storm)

signed, titled and dated "Vaughn Spann 2018 DALMATIAN (No. 6) (Desert Storm)" on the reverse
polymer paint and fabric on canvas
70 x 70 in. (177.8 x 177.8 cm.)
Executed in 2018.

Estimate On Request


New York Selling Exhibition 10 January - 8 February 2019