Jennifer Samet interviews painter Jennifer Coates, whose exhibition All U Can Eat is on view at Freight + Volume Gallery, New York, through April 16, 2017.
Coates: “There are a lot of painting jokes. There are all kinds of moments where I think I can pretend to be this or that artist. It is very satisfying. With the bread and the popsicle paintings, I think about Rothko and Color Field painting. How can the popsicle be radiant? I’m thinking about a color relationship where the paint isn’t just naming something, but also transcending itself… Hopefully, what comes across in my work is a kind of heightened devotional object that has a radiant presence. I was thinking about sacrificial stone altars. The slab, where an animal is getting killed with a knife, is like the first abstract expressionist painting. So making a sandwich and spreading substances around with a knife is like a weird descendent of the sacrifice. Peanut butter and jelly can look like bodily fluids or innards. It is gooey business.”