The more poetic side of money

From June 5, 2014 to July 18, 2014
Opening on Saturday October 4, 2014
For her first exhibition in France, Danica Phelps shows a series of drawings which stem from the project Income’s Outcome. This exhibition will also contain works made on the gallery premises, during Phelps’ stay in Paris, together with her son Orion, at the studio inside the gallery. Composed like a personal diary, Income’s Outcome relies on an economy of life that the artist consigns, saves and shares with the spectator. Nothing is lost in this vital cycle of production and spending that rhythms the deployment of her series, defining the pulse as much as the content. Phelps shares as easily tumultuous episodes from her sexual life, as a simple trip to the laundromat or an outing with her son. These episodes are sketched with a sensual and precise line, as if drawn from nature, and are accompanied by numbers on what they cost. These moments of intimacy and creation that are priceless, are thus being accounted for.

Danica Phelps does her accounts whatever happens. This arid and disciplined protocol seems to interrogate, even refuse, the division of art and life, of work and pleasure. By confronting two views, one sensual and light of the drawings and, one fastidious and bookkeeping (sometimes delegated to assistants) of bar codes under each drawing, Phelps addresses a sensitive aspect of the art market which is at the same time one of its levers: the confrontation between usage value and exchange value, the circulation of desire and investment.

The circulation of money, its more poetic side, would thus be the objective materialisation of a vital flux. Danica Phelps also involves the buyers into her work by consigning their name on a second generation of drawings realised by a transfer onto tracing paper of each sold drawing. These reproductions are made by request and without limit. The second hand buyer is informed of the previous sales of the drawing of his choice. Places and dates of the transactions as well as the identity of the buyers inform each new owner of the pedigree or the genealogy of his acquisition. Their price always remains the same though and is fixed by the artist in relation to the affective importance that she gives them.

The subversion of Danica Phelps’ work does not rely as much on the showcase of her intimate and financial life, as on a profound questioning of the value criteria of art, her approach consisting in analysing the material means of existence and to allow their conditions.


Danica Phelps, born 1971 in New York.
Holds an MA from the Rhode Island School of Design and has had many solo as well as group exhibitions since the 90s. Lately, she showed at the Galeria Nieves Fernandez (Madrid), Dina4Projekte (Munich) and the Center for Maine Contemporary Art among others. She was awarded the Individual Artist Grant by the New York Foundation for the Arts. Her work can be found at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Seattle Art Museum or the Yale Art Museum Collection.