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Elise Adibi, Charcoal Drawing (2011), rabbit skin glue, graphite, and charcoal on canvas, 72 x 72 inches

Churner and Churner is pleased to announce an exhibition of work by Elise Adibi. In “Da Capo,” Adibi’s second solo exhibition in New York, the artist extends her investigations of painting and drawing, working with a limited set of materials – canvas, carbon powder, charcoal, and oil paint – to create artworks that embody her ongoing relationship with philosophical notions of repetition and precedence.

Adibi works with six-foot square canvases that avoid the connotations of landscape or portraiture, and allude to the body with their scale. In the drawings, she creates a grid, following the weave of the canvas, and traces it with graphite or fills it in with charcoal. But as the sweep of her hand carries her to the end of one line, only to start again just below, smears and smudges mark the spaces where the grid is met by its materiality. In the paintings, Adibi covers the canvas in a base of gold or copper and paints a thick impasto topped with graphite powder. This technique is a reversal of her earlier use of graphite, moving what is typically a base material to the painting’s very surface. Through the physicality of her process and the nature of her materials, Adibi finds contingency within a highly determined structure.

The musical term “da capo” means “from the beginning,” or literally, “from the head.” It tells the performer to repeat a section of music, marking a return to the beginning of a repeated phrase. Adibi begins the works in this series with similar basic parameters, and with the same affirmative notion of repetition. For Adibi, starting from the beginning while simultaneously repeating what has come before is an optimistic act. She derives freedom from limitation, in a Modernist vein, but realizes that what her practice is after is not an endpoint, but a becoming. These paintings strive for what Nietzsche described in Beyond Good and Evil: the essence of the “most high-spirited, alive and world affirming being who has not only come to terms and learned to get along with whatever was and is, but who wants to have what was and is repeated into all eternity, shouting insatiably da capo.”



Elise Adibi was born in Boston MA. She lives and works in New York. In 2010 she had a solo exhibition at Southfirst, Brooklyn, which was reviewed in Artforum in February 2011. Adibi has a BA in Philosophy from Swarthmore College, and a Master of Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania. She received her MFA from Columbia University in 2007. In 2008-2009 Adibi received a grant from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, and in 2007 she was awarded a fellowship in Giverny, France by the Terra Foundation. She has been an Adjunct Professor of Painting at Columbia University and Brooklyn College. In 2009-2010 she curated “Gold in Braddock,” an exhibition of seventeen artists in Braddock, Pennsylvania. Most recently, works from her series Oxidation Painting (2011) have been displayed at The Andy Warhol Museum.







For more information and images, contact Rachel Churner at or 212.675.2750.

“Using a process determined equally by serially and human presence, Elise Adibi draws on the sparse parameters of Minimalist facture to, paradoxically, call attention to the unique, individual character of artistic production.”

Britany Salsbury, “Critics’Pick, New York”, ArtForum (June 2012)

“Without being striking or intense, Adibi has made a worthy attempt to explore breathing lines, shapes and textures adopted from the art of weaving, through sparing paintings on metal and meticulous grid shaped drawings on canvas.”

Reid Singer, “Elise Adibi, Da Capo at Churner and Churner”, ARTINFO (May 31,2012)

“Da Capo, now on view at Churner and Churner, artist Elise Adibi explores small scale repetition on 6′ by 6′ canvases, and the result is anything bur tedious.”

Jane-Claire Quigley, “Practice Makes Perfect: “Da Capo” Paintings by Elsie Adibi”, Animal (May 25,2012)

“Evoking a Modernist vibe and a tad Minimalist, Elise Adibi had her second solo exhibition in New York at Churner and Churner in Chelsea.”

“Adibi’s Heady Brush of the Elemental” ArtFuse (June 6,2012)

“The assemblage of pencil drawings and painterly brushstrokes are marked by an intimacy that suggests that Adibi works with the material history of modernism as much as she excises it.”

Joanna Kleinberg, “Elise Adibi at Churner and Churner”, The Drawing Center (June 15th, 2012)