Galen Cheney: Scorpion and Chickadee

Exhibition Dates: May 26, 2015 - June 20, 2015

Reception: Thursday, May 28, 6 - 8 pm

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Thomas Berding, Lost in Conversion, 2016, oil, acrylic and flashe on canvas, 69” x 62”.jpg

The Painting Center is pleased to present Scorpion and Chickadee, an exhibition of new paintings by Galen Cheney, the artist’s first solo show in New York City. Painted over the last year, these works embody her ongoing commitment to making paintings that are complex, rigorous, and uncompromising in their emotional honesty. With an approach that is deeply rooted in abstract expressionism, Cheney’s work also contains characteristics of street art, figuration and pop. Cheney has said, “I like my paintings to exist on a tightrope, right on the edge of coming apart. Not fixed, not static, but open, and with a sense of still being composed. I want the process, the struggle to be right out in front, not covered over or tidied up.” She begins each painting with no particular outcome in mind, responding to the changing painting in real time. She uses whatever materials the painting is calling for, from traditional oil colors to fluorescent sign paint, translucent paper dress patterns, and thick-bodied modeling paste. The resultant paintings are multi-layered objects that push out from the wall and into the physical and emotional space of the viewer. Though the works make a powerful impact and embrace the sensual qualities of oil paint, many also emit a certain unease, an underlying anxiety about their very existence. Cheney readily admits that this aspect is not necessarily intentional, but accepts it as a reflection of her own state of mind.

Born in Los Angeles, Galen Cheney now lives and works in rural Vermont. She received her B.A. from Mount Holyoke College, and her MFA from The Maryland Institute, College of Art. She has received multiple fellowships including from The Millay Colony, The Vermont Studio Center, and Da Wang Culture Highland in Shenzhen, China (fall, 2015). Her work has been shown and collected throughout the U.S. and in Canada, most recently at Gray Contemporary in Houston, The Drawing Room Gallery in Cos Cob, CT, and The Painting Center in New York City. For further information please contact The Painting Center or email the artist at For additional images visit

View Brochure: Galen Cheney_Brochure.pdf