Jessi Reaves

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Jessi Reaves
Jessica Reaves

(1986-02-02) 2 February 1986 (age 33)
EducationRhode Island School of Design
Known forSculpture

Jessi Reaves (born 1986, Portland, Oregon) is an American artist based in New York City who uses the relationship between art and design as a material in her practice,[1] often making work that operates as both furniture and sculpture.[2]


Raised in Portland, Oregon, Jessi Reaves studied painting at the Rhode Island School of Design. Originally studying furniture design, Reaves dropped out, only to return a year later to study painting.[3] After graduating, Reaves moved to New York in 2010, getting a part-time job as an upholsterer, where she found herself in a studio full of accumulated bits and scraps. It was these leftovers that became the starting point for her practice.[3]

Jessi Reaves has been included in group exhibitions such as Natural Flavor at Ludlow 38, New York (2015); Pavillon de L'Esprit Nouveau: A 21st Century Show Home at Swiss Institute, New York (2015); and American Basketry at Bed Stuy Love Affair, New York (2014). She presented her first solo exhibition at Bridget Donahue, New York in April 2016.[4] In 2017, she participated in the Whitney Biennial, creating inviting upholstered pieces meant to be utilized in the gallery. “Rejecting the sleek craftsmanship of iconic midcentury design, Reaves exaggerates markers of construction to an almost aggressive abundance,” note co-curators Christopher Y. Lew and Mia Locks.[5]

In 2018, Reaves contributed a sculpture to the Eckhaus Latta show, Possessed, at the Whitney Museum.[6] The first fashion-related exhibition at the Whitney in 21 years, the label curated their friends' art amongst the sculptural retail environment they created for the show.[7]

Additionally in 2018, John Galliano invited Reaves to create raw, deconstructed sculptures for Maison Margiela's SS18.[8]

Artistic Practice[edit]

In Reaves spoke about her relationship to materials in Foundations Magazine:

"Ideally I want people to embrace the kind of patina or whatever you call it… the stuff that attaches to any object existing in the world. I just feel like the longer that I've lived with certain pieces, or ones that I've had in the studio, that have survived parties, I love those pieces more. Even the stains changes over time, spreading out and they kind of have their own life."[9]

Exhibition History[edit]

‘'Selected Solo Exhibition History[4]

  • 2019 - Jessi Reaves II - Bridget Donahue, New York, NY[10]
  • 2018 - Kitchen Arrangement within The Domestic Plane: New Perspectives on Tabletop Art Objects - The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CT[11]
  • 2017 - 31 Candles - Jessi Reaves featuring Bradley Kronz & Jessi Reaves (Waiting for Boots), Dorich House Museum, Kingston University, London, UK[12]
  • 2017 - android stroll - Herald St, London, UK[13]
  • 2016 - Jessi Reaves - Bridget Donahue, New York, NY
  • 2016 - Now Showing: Jessi Reaves - SculptureCenter, Long Island City, NY[14]

‘'Selected Group Exhibition History[3]

  • 2018/19 - Carnegie International, 57th Edition, Carnegie Museum, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, October 13 - March 25, 2019
  • 2018 - Eckhaus Latta: Possessed, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, New York, August 3 - October 8
  • 2018 - SI ONSITE, Swiss Institute, New York, New York
  • 2018 - The Phantom of Liberty: Contemporary Works in the RISD Museum Collection, RISD Museum, Providence, Rhode Island
  • 2018 - Sit-In, September Gallery, Hudson, New York
  • 2018 - Loopstar Future Feel Good: Jessi Reaves, Mother Culture, Los Angeles, CA
  • 2018 - Interiors, Galerie Maria Bernheim, Zurich, Switzerland,
  • 2018 - Steps to Aeration, Tanya Leighton, Berlin, Germany
  • 2018 - Midtown, Lever House, organized by Maccarone and Salon 94, New York, New York
  • 2018 - Ginny Casey and Jessi Reaves, Institute of Contemporary Art Philadelphia, Pennsylvania[15]
  • 2018 - Liminal Focus, Barbara Mathes Gallery, New York, New York
  • 2017 - Whitney Biennial 2017, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, New York
  • 2017 - Ruins in the Snow, High Art, Paris, France
  • 2017 - Looking Back/ The 11th White Columns Annual, White Columns, New York
  • 2016/17 - A Cautionary Tale: Jessi Reaves and Bradley Kronz, A Palazzo Gallery, Brescia, Italy[16]
  • 2016 - Gallery Share, Off Vendome, New York, New York
  • 2016 - Real Fine Arts Presents, New York, 809 Washington Street, New York, New York
  • 2016 - Jessi Reaves & Sophie Stone: How to Remove Stains, Del Vaz Projects, Los Angeles, CA[17]
  • 2015 - Summer Group Show, Germantown, New York, curated by Matt Moravec and Taylor Trabulus
  • 2015 - Living Rooms, Old Room Gallery, New York, NY, curated by Josh Kline
  • 2015 - Paramount Ranch, Shoot the Lobster Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
  • 2015 - Seau Banco Carbon, Bed Stuy Love Affair Gallery, New York, New York, December 22 - January 2
  • 2015 - La Casa del Cazu Merzu, Shoot the Lobster Gallery, New York, New York, September 19 - October 19
  • 2015 - American Basketry, Bed Stuy Love Affair, New York, New York, August 15 - September 6
  • 2015 - My Old Friend, My New Friend, My Girlfriend, My Cousin and My Mentor, Shoot the Lobster Gallery, NY, NY, curated by JPW3
  • 2013 - International Contemporary Furniture Fair, New York, NY
  • 2011 - The Denist’s Office, Golden Rule Gallery, Portland, Oregon
  • 2009 - my space, Gelman Gallery, RISD, Providence, RI, curated by Gregory Fong, Sean Monahan, & Sarah Faux[18]


  • 2017 Special Mention, Hublot Design Prize, Switzerland[19]

Permanent Collections[edit]


  1. ^ Cusumano, Katherine. "Domestic Ills: Sculptor Jessi Reaves Elevates Furniture By Making It Weirder". W Magazine.
  2. ^ "Now Showing: Jessi Reaves".
  3. ^ a b c Trotta, Julia. "ARTIST JESSI REAVES, QUEEN OF SCRAP". Pin-Up Magazine.
  4. ^ a b Villarreal, Ignacio. "Solo exhibitions of works by Jessi Reaves and Rochelle Goldberg on view at SculptureCenter".
  5. ^ "RISD Well Represented at Whitney Biennial | News | RISD".
  6. ^ "Shop Talk: Making Sense of Eckhaus Latta at the Whitney". Metropolis. 17 August 2018.
  7. ^ Halabin, Layla. "Eckhaus Latta is showing the first fashion-related exhibition at the Whitney in 21 years". The Fader.
  8. ^ "john galliano employs sculptor jessi reaves for maison margiela SS18". designboom | architecture & design magazine. 25 January 2018.
  9. ^ "Sometimes the Distinction Between Art and Design is a Fine Line - Core77". Core77.
  10. ^ "Jessi Reaves II - Exhibition at Bridget Donahue Gallery in New York". ArtRabbit. Retrieved 2019-03-14.
  11. ^ "Jessi Reaves–Kitchen Arrangement".
  12. ^ "Jessi Reaves and Bradley Kronz Dorich House Museum / London".
  13. ^ "Michael Dean and Jessi Reaves at Herald St, London".
  14. ^ "Now Showing: Jessi Reaves".
  15. ^ "Ginny Casey & Jessi Reaves".
  16. ^ "A Cautionary Tale".
  17. ^ "Jessi Reaves and Sophie Stone".
  18. ^ "my space @ gelman gallery // may 22 - june 28, 2009".
  19. ^ Gurney, James (24 October 2017). "Design of the times: Hublot's Design Prize 2017". The Telegraph.
  20. ^ "Ottoman with Parked Chairs".
  21. ^ "Bad House Shelf - RISD Museum".

External links[edit]