Kevin Wolff

Devening Projects is so pleased to invite you to Never Not Looking, a survey of paintings and drawings by Chicago artist Kevin Wolff (1955–2O18). Never Not Looking acknowledges the important contributions Kevin made to the discipline of painting, the intimacy of drawing and the legacy of perceptual strategies in image-making. Kevin’s incredible impact on the New York and Chicago art scenes is reflected in this collection of work from the late 8Os to 2O18. We are delighted and proud to host this significant exhibition by an artist whose singular approach to figure painting delighted in the body-as-subject with humor, irony and adoration.

The exhibition opens by appointment on April 9th and continues until May 15th, 2O21. Appointments for safe and private viewings of this exhibition can be made by visiting our scheduler at www.deveningprojects.com/appointments. The gallery is open on Saturdays from 12 – 5pm.

In his essay for the catalog for this exhibition, Kevin Wolff’s husband, David Scott says: “The sense that most informed his work, was touch. You can see it on the extraordinary surfaces of his paintings and drawings. It’s why nearly everything he created at least references the body or flesh. Kevin’s process evolved into something he called—again, only when pressed—abstract realism. His initial source was often a photograph, one he found or took himself. He next would create a rough sculpture using flesh-colored clay. He would meticulously light the resulting maquette, photograph it again and then begin to paint using the manipulated photo as his source. He was thrilled when I showed him how he could further manipulate images using Photoshop and layout programs. While I’m not sure he ever articulated it or perhaps even realized it, this grew from his conviction that a thing was not good enough. He needed to make it better. Touch it. Re-create it.”

Kevin Wolff (1955–2O18) was a Chicago-based artist and teacher was born Buffalo, N.Y. He received his undergraduate degree from the Rochester Institute of Technology and his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Wolff had a long and impactful career as a mainstay of both New York City and Chicago’s art scenes, exhibiting at, among other venues, Feature Gallery, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Renaissance Society, Gallery 4OO at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the Suburban. His work has also been exhibited at Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center, the New Museum, the Grey Art Gallery and Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions. Wolff’s reputation was in part solidified by his inclusion in the 1993 Whitney Biennial, but it was his 3O-year association with Feature Gallery and its director, Hudson, that epitomized Wolff’s artistic personality. Wolff was with Feature from its early days in Chicago through its relocation to New York and up to Hudson’s death in 2O18. Hudson cited Wolff as the artist with whom he had the longest running association, and he explained that longevity by stating simply: “I’m in love with the way he paints.” For over two decades, Wolff taught figure painting and drawing at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and at the Herron School of Art and Design at Indiana University–Purdue University at Indianapolis.

  • Installation view, Kevin Wolff, Never Not Looking, April 2021
  • Installation view, Kevin Wolff, Never Not Looking, April 2021
  • Man on a Stick, 1987, acrylic on canvas, 72 x 68 inches
  • Installation view, Kevin Wolff, Never Not Looking, April 2021
  • Hanging Man, 1987, acrylic on canvas, 72 x 48 inches
  • Untitled, 2014, acrylic on canvas, 24 x 18 inches
  • Untitled, 2014, acrylic on canvas, 24 x 18 inches
  • Installation view, Kevin Wolff, Never Not Looking, April 2021
  • Installation view, Kevin Wolff, Never Not Looking, April 2021
  • Outstretched Hand, 1991 acrylic on canvas, 42 x 68 inches
  • Installation view, Kevin Wolff, Never Not Looking, April 2021
  • Hole, 1991 acrylic on canvas, 34 x 46 inches
  • Installation view, Kevin Wolff, Never Not Looking, April 2021
  • Installation view, Kevin Wolff, Never Not Looking, April 2021
  • Installation view, Kevin Wolff, Never Not Looking, April 2021
  • ReBob, 2006, oil on canvas, 60 x 96 inches
  • ReBob, 2006, oil on canvas, 60 x 96 inches
  • Installation view, Kevin Wolff, Never Not Looking, April 2021
  • Arm, 1986, acrylic on canvas, 60 x 48 inches
  • Installation view, Kevin Wolff, Never Not Looking, April 2021
  • Installation view, Kevin Wolff, Never Not Looking, April 2021
  • KevinWolffInstallation14
  • Installation view, Kevin Wolff, Never Not Looking, April 2021
  • Screaming Fans, mixed media
  • Wall, False Hole, Mirror, 1994, acrylic on canvas, 24 x 19 inches