Current Exhibition

Best regards,

Isabella Whitfield

July 6–August 10, 2024

Inspired by the ways in which personal aptitude can be misaligned with environmental and social expectations, Best regards, urges viewers to double back and look closer. Is the thing I’m looking at what I think it is, or something else? Do the things that I say and do actually come across to others the way I intend?

Primarily working with paper and metal, Isabella Whitfield renders safety equipment, tools, and other utilitarian objects. Through her use of color, material, and repetition, the artist alienates individual parts from their original substance, mode of presentation, and broader systems of utility—contradicting the ways in which the objects typically function. In bringing an uncanny look and feel to the familiar, Whitfield destabilizes initial recognition with an undercurrent of incertitude.

The exhibition’s namesake, a common e-mail correspondence sign-off, holds a similar duplicitous potential. “Best regards” can convey genuine kindness, yet it is sometimes used to mask frustration or apathy beneath the veneer of civility. Disguising ulterior dispositions under an innocuous surface. 

Facetious yet sentimentally sincere, Best regards, grapples with the precarious nature of agency amid public and interpersonal interpretation, and the tension that underpins the notion of purpose. 

Artist

Isabella Whitfield (b. 1998; Centreville, VA) earned her BFA and BA at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA (2020), and completed the postgraduate Aunspaugh Fifth Year Fellowship.


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Artist walkthrough
Saturday, July 27, 3pm

Artist reception
Saturday, July 13, 5–7pm

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