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Crisp-Ellert Art Museum Announces Jillian Mayer Exhibition

Jan 10, 2022

The Crisp-Ellert Art Museum and Flagler College are pleased to announce Miami-based Jillian Mayer’s forthcoming exhibition New Sincerity 2.0. The exhibition will open on Tuesday, January 18 with a walkthrough with the artist at 5 pm, followed by an opening reception until 7 pm. This event is free and open to the public, and masks are required. New Sincerity 2.0 continues through February 24.

Mayer’s latest sculptures utilize materials such as glass, metal, and other industrial materials, building on previous bodies of work that explore myriad themes, including our relationship to technology and the digital world, environmental collapse, and prepper subcultures.

Glassy, 2021, glass, steal, and hardware, The piece is 18 by 15.5 inches.

Glassy, 2021, glass, steal, and hardware, The piece is 18 by 15.5 inches.

Working across disciplines that include film, video, sculpture, painting and performance, Mayer is well known for tongue-in-cheek works that explore the complicated nature of our relationship to technology. Mayer’s work isn’t a denunciation of technology but is regularly presented as a satirical value proposition to provoke conversation about identity, authenticity, and sincerity regarding our often-perverse engagement with the digital landscape, or what our relationship to the actual landscape might resemble in the absence of a techno-world.

Mayer often uses humor harnessed with sincerity to address monumental issues. Her 2011 film I Am Your Grandma, is an autobiographical video diary made for the artist’s unborn grandchildren, packaged as a viral-friendly YouTube video that the artist uses as a study in why people share extremely personal information with strangers via social media. Mayer’s Slumpies are a series of sculptures that position themselves as functional objects used to support our bodies as we interface with the digital world, i.e., scroll on our phones and take selfies. Frequently utilizing unpretentious, sincere, industrial materials such as epoxy resin, foam, fiberglass, plastic, and metal, the Slumpies’ awkward, ostensible lack of design stand in contrast to technology’s sleek forms, and comedically implicates our collective role in a slick, pervasive marketing culture.

The artist expands these ideas even further, both conceptually and materially through new sculptures, and a body of abstract work made from kiln-worked fused glass that will be included in New Sincerity 2.0. Having spent the last two years outfitting a trailer as an off-the-grid bunker as artist residence as sculpture, Mayer has created two sculptures structured on a jet ski and a solar-powered cart. These items were created to function in the outside world, but here Mayer revisits them as art objects, as well as enters them into another conversation as human tools with a use, and relics that are obsolete. Through the glass series, the artist asserts that in both our physical and digital worlds, we are encapsulated in this material. Much of our reality is not experienced directly, but is mediated through glass, via corrective eyewear, windows, windshields, camera lenses, televisions, phones, and computer screens. And yet, there is an inherent fragility and vulnerability to glass, in which Mayer uses to explore the superficiality and accessibility of the self to others – “not in polished squares, but in messy, overlapping, contradictory compositions and various opacities that allow for inconsistent visual access to the world around and within us.” Perhaps this more sincerely reflect of our current tumultuous, splintered moment.

Jillian Mayer has held solo exhibitions including Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Omaha, Nebraska (2019), Kunst Aarhus, Aarhus, Denmark (2019), University of Buffalo Art Museum, Buffalo NY (2018), Tufts University, Boston, MA (2018); Postmasters Gallery, New York, NY (2018); Pérez Art Museum, Miami, FL (2016); LAXART, Los Angeles, CA (2016); Utah Museum of Fine Art, Salt Lake City, UT (2014); and David Castillo Gallery, Miami, FL (2011 & 2016). She has exhibited, screened films, and performed at MoMA PS1 (2017); MoMA (2013); the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami, FL (2013); the Bass Museum of Art, North Miami, FL (2012); the Guggenheim Museum (2010); and the Musée d'Art Contemporain de Montréal, Québec as a part of the Montréal Biennial (2014). Mayer’s work has been featured in Artforum, Art Papers, Art in America, ArtNews, The Huffington Post, and The New York Times. Mayer is a recipient of the Creative Capital Fellowship, South Florida Cultural Consortium Visual/Media Artists Fellowship, Cintas Foundation Fellowship for Cuban Artists, and was named one of the “25 New Faces of Independent Film” by Filmmaker Magazine.

Mayer has lectured at The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, CalArts, the Sundance Institute, ICA Miami, Carnegie Mellon University, Otis College of Art & Design, Tufts University, Salt Lake Museum of Art, University of Nebraska, University of Texas Arlington, McCord Museum, the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, SXSW, Portland State University, Museum of Fine Arts St. Pete, Pitzer University, MoCA North Miami and more.

Her films have screened at festivals including Sundance, SXSW, Rottenberg Film Fest, and the New York Film Festival. She is a fellow of the Sundance Institute's New Frontiers Lab and New Narratives on Climate Change Lab.

Mayer is represented by David Castillo Gallery, in Miami, FL.

This program is supported by a grant from the Dr. JoAnn Crisp-Ellert Fund at The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida.

For more information about our programming and upcoming events, please visit the website at, follow us on Instagram (@crispellertart) or Facebook (Crisp-Ellert Art Museum).

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