E.E. Ikeler’s paintings are a pathway to knowledge that appeals to the senses. Pieced together with various materials and abstracted in their structure, the work's initial reading is welcoming and colorful. Initially organized by the grid, the images are twisted with patterns presenting a secondary piece of information revealed through language. The scripted messages are intended to fill in the void of communication that abstract painting leaves behind. The artist has called them “fake protest signs” while at the same time recognizing the shortcomings of an actionable protest. The work brings cohesion to daily conundrums, fragmenting experience and perspective through process.
Ikeler’s work is an investigation into the act of understanding. Words can manifest misunderstanding, and abstract painting alone requires analysis. By forging a relationship between painting and language, Ikeler hopes to find a universality that one or the other cannot attain on its own. “To comprehend, to fathom, to consider: that is the goal. The need to know as a desire in its own right is the driving force.” The artist uses the grid to articulate the underlying structure of the two-dimensional realm. She makes her grids by hand, using nets and other materials to imperfectly cast tiles that ultimately produce her own technology for communication.
E.E. Ikeler (b.1986) received a BFA from The Cooper Union in 2008 and an MFA from Yale School of Art in 2016. She’s had solo exhibitions at Jeff Bailey Gallery (Hudson, NY), Mulherin (Toronto, Canada), and Kent Place (Summit, NJ). She has also exhibited at EFA Project Space and Abrons Art Center (NYC, New York) and Yve Yang Gallery in Boston, MA. She received a Leroy Neiman Foundation Summer Fellowship at Ox-bow School of Art in 2016; a Yale FLAGS Award, a Helen Watson Winternitz Award and a Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library Research Fellowship (all Yale University, 2015). She lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.