Rules of the Game: Claire Lieberman, Kate McQuillen, Wouter Nijland

16 November - 30 December 2018

Massey Klein is pleased to present Rules of the Game, a group exhibition featuring work by Claire Lieberman, Kate McQuillen, and Wouter Nijland.  The exhibition explores the artists’ distinct use of material and process resulting in surface qualities individual to each body of work.

Installation Views
Press release

Claire Lieberman is a sculptor who creates freestanding, three-dimensional works reminiscent of animated childhood objects.  The pieces are rendered in highly polished Belgian black marble; their surfaces smooth and shiny, punctuated or disrupted by protuberances.  A ballooning toy grenade and curvaceous toy top exude a playful and provocative quality.  The effect is voluptuous and inviting, bringing to the surface the duality of material and image. 

Kate McQuillen’s paintings on panel are hyper-flat, with ghostly images embedded in the surface. Viewed from the side, there is no discernible texture, and gradients of color shift in hue and intensity.  The artist creates the work by combining tactics found in acrylic painting, watercolor, and silkscreen.  Specially modified paint is applied to the surface in a single stroke, passing through a screen which measures out the application of paint in a super-fine layer.  Each layer of paint spans multiple hues, creating a smooth gradient effect, and subsequent layers are applied at opposing angles, resulting in a range of colors.  The color palettes imagine things like astral planes, optical after-effects, psychedelia, and simulated RGB colorspaces. They suggest moments of intangibility, lapses in time, and out-of-body experiences.

Wouter Nijland creates three dimensional, geometric, oil paintings based on a set of rules determined by chance and coincidence.  Using a playful yet rigid system based off x and y axis planes, the artist uses dice, coins, and marbles to codify and scale his compositions.  The rules established for each painting also determine the application of the brushstroke and the border between shapes, as well as the polygonal shapes themselves.  The monochromatic pigment in this series of paintings are in fact a mixture of approximately twelve different shades of primary colors.  The heavily-mixed oil layers are thick, so one can follow the brushstrokes as they catch the light.


Claire Lieberman is a sculptor living and working in Illinois and New York City.  She has exhibited at THE LAB, NYC; Seoul Art Center, South Korea; University of Alaska, Anchorage; Anderson Gallery; Virginia Commonwealth University, and MUDAC Museum; Lausanne, Switzerland. Her work has been included in Sculpture magazine, The New York Times, Art on Paper, and ARTnews.  Lieberman has received awards from The Arctic Circle, Territory of Svalbard; National Endowment for the Arts; Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris; Yaddo; and MacDowell Colony. The artist attended the Boston Museum School (BFA) and Pratt Institute (MFA).

Kate McQuillen lives and works in Brooklyn. She has exhibited at the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, Geoffrey Young Gallery, O’Born Contemporary, and The Comfort Station, Chicago. She has been the recipient of grants from the Illinois Arts Council and the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, among others. Writings about her work have been included in such news outlets as the Chicago Tribune, Greenpointers, Art in Print, Printeresting, New City, The Chicago Reader, and Hyperallergic, and in publications by the Poetry Foundation, Columbia College Chicago and Rutgers University.

Wouter Nijland is a Dutch artist living and working in the Netherlands.  He has exhibited extensively throughout the Netherlands and Europe. His work has been included in the New York Times.  He received his BFA at the Fine Art Minerva Academy in Groningen, Netherlands.