Jarrett Key and Jon Key

September 26–October 24, 2020

Steve Turner is pleased to present Seale(d), a two-person online exhibition featuring new works by Providence-based Jarrett Key and Brooklyn-based Jon Key, twin brothers who grew up in the small town of Seale, Alabama.

Jarrett is presenting three new oversized hot combs that they forged in steel alongside four oil-on-cement fresco paintings that depict figures within a pastoral landscape. In both bodies of work, Jarrett has drawn upon family lore and biography to construct works using material, labor, craft and skill that are significant to their family history.

Jon is presenting five new paintings in his signature graphic style, one which relies primarily on the use of red, green, violet and black to represent his family, his Southern-ness, Queerness and Blackness.

While both artists use symbolism to convey content and both are inspired by their origin in Seale, they very clearly have different voices and stories. Yet, as Jarrett noted: “Jon and I do a lot of harmonizing when we sing together. I feel like this show offers a taste of our harmony in a visual way.”

Jarrett Key (born 1990, Seale, Alabama) earned a BA at Brown University (2013) and an MFA at Rhode Island School of Design (2020). They have exhibited work in group exhibitions at NXTHVN, New Haven (2020); Fierman Gallery, New York (2020); 1969 Gallery, New York (2020) and will have a solo exhibition at Steve Turner, Los Angeles in 2021.

Jon Key (born 1990, Seale, Alabama) earned a BFA at Rhode Island School of Design (2013) before moving to Brooklyn where he began developing his studio and design practices. He has had solo and two-person exhibitions at Steve Turner, Los Angeles (2019); Rubber Factory, New York (2019) and The Armory Show, New York (2020). He will have his second solo exhibition at Steve Turner in 2021.

In their multi-faceted practice that also includes performance, Jarrett Key creates sculpture in forged steel as well as oil-on-cement fresco paintings. In both bodies of work, Key has drawn upon family lore and biography to construct works using material, labor, craft and skill that are significant to their family history. Their sculpture consists of oversized hot combs and their paintings depict family and friends within pastoral landscapes.

Born 1990, Seale, Alabama
Lives and works in Providence, Rhode Island

MFA, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence

BA, Brown University, Providence

Shanghai Theatre Academy, China

Solo and Two-Person Exhibitions
Steve Turner, Los Angeles (upcoming)

Seale(d), Steve Turner, Los Angeles
1969 Gallery, New York

Mobi Queer Art Festival, Gallery Brooklyn
Hair Paintings and Other Stories, La MaMa Galleria, New York
Hair Painting No. 29, Columbus Museum, Georgia
SPRING/BREAK Art Show (with Codify Art), New York

The Ties That Bind, Bend, And Break, Secret Dungeon, Brooklyn
The Black Joy Takeover, The Studio Museum in Harlem
Harlem Arts Festival Gala, Harlem

Group Exhibitions
20/20: RISD MFA Painting, 1969 Gallery, New York
Countermythologies, NXTHVN, New Haven, Connecticut
Telephone, Fierman Gallery, New York
(RE)POSITION, RISD Museum, Providence
Special Collection at RISD President’s House, RISD, Providence

Free Them All 2: An Art Show for Queer Prisoners, Amsterdam Collective Casa de Cultura, New York
Holiday Happening, Skye Gallery, Providence
Black: color | context | meaning, RISD Museum, Providence
Ether, Skye Gallery, Providence
Painting Department Triennial Exhibition, Woods-Gerry Gallery, Providence
Smear, Design Center RISD, Providence

Criteria of Beauty, RISD Museum, Providence
RISD Painting Biennial, Sol Kolfler Gallery, Providence
Queer Art Annual Show, The LGBTQ Center, New York

Being With You, Gallery 67, New York
SPRING/BREAK Art Show (with Codify Art), New York
Bau Haus Semi Annual VI, Bau Haus, Brooklyn
32nd Biennial of Graphic Arts, MGLC, Ljubana, Slovenia
The Void, Galerija Kresija, Ljubana, Slovenia
Re: Art x 12 Show, Former Pfizer Factory, Brooklyn
Zine, Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Art, Brooklyn

Work, Outlet, Brooklyn
Harlem Arts Festival, Marcus Garvey Park
Fresh Start, Outlet, Brooklyn
Hashtags Unplugged, Caelum Gallery, New York
Who’s Harlem? / Whose Harlem?, La Maison D’Art, Harlem

Mattering: An Arts Forum, Speyer Hall, NYU, New York
Artists Against Police Violence, East Meets West Gallery, Boston

The Sonic Life of a Giant Tortoise, by Toshiki Okada, Brown University, Providence (Movement Director)
Strand, by Nafis White, RISD Museum, Providence (Performer, Dancer)

Mother May I, Ars Nova, New York
Heaven Is Here, Ars Nova, New York (Featured Performer)

Kings and Queens of Love, Ars Nova, New York (Featured Performer)
Foxtrot Foxtrot Whiskey, Center for Performance Research, Brooklyn (Performer)
DELILAH (What is Love? Baby Don’t Hurt Me), Dixon Place, New York (Performer)

Les Blancs, by Lorraine Hansberry, Harlem School of the Arts (Co-Director)
Clark’s Dolls, by Liz Morgan, Manhattan Repertory Theater (Movement, Mask and Music Director)

Projection, by Liz Morgan, The Times Square Arts Center, New York (Director)

Dyke/Warrior Prayers, by Sharon Bridgforth, Rites and Reason Theater, Providence (Choreographer)
Straight White Men, by Young Jean Lee, Leeds Theater, Providence (Assistant Director)

Residencies and Awards
Forbes 30 Under 30 for Art and Style

Point Foundation Scholarship Finalist for Graduate School, California

Graduate Assistantship for Contemporary Art, RISD Museum, Providence

Queer Arts Mentorship, Performance Mentee with David Thompson, New York
LMCC (Lower Manhattan Cultural Council) Workspace Finalist for Visual Art Residency, New York
Bellweather Art Residency, New York

Cassell, Dessane Lopez. “Our Favorite MFA Work From Yale and RISD,” Hyperallergic, August 27

Wooten, Nick. “‘Changing the face of society.’ Twin artists on Forbes Under 30 list are Columbus grads,” Ledger-Enquirer, December 11
“2020 30 Under 30 – Art & Style,” Forbes, December 3
Castro, Alexander. “Ether,” Art New England, September/October
““Empathy is the Tool for Change:” Jarrett Key for Breakthrough VOICES,” Breakthrough U.S., May 28
Kristoff, Anne. “Twin brothers from a small Alabama town turn heads in the New York art world,” Alabama NewsCenter, February 8

“Artist Feature,” The Tenth Magazine: CaliCod Issue
Cherry, Maurice. “Episode 266: Jarrett Key,” Revision Path, October 29
Trimarchi, Robin. “Artist paints with his hair to create installation at Columbus Museum,” Ledger- Enquirer, October 28
Niculescu, Sebastián Castro. “New York City Trans Oral History Project,” The New York Public Library, July 25
Chrysanne, LaChelle. “Doing The Work With Jon & Jarrett Key,” UNPOPCULTR, July 2
Chase-Marshall, Kibwe. “This Queer Artist Uses Their Hair to Create Epic Performance Art,” them, February 28

Azim, Zalika. “Tracing Existence,” Studio Museum Magazine

Hsu, Cindy. “Highlighting The Best of Harlem,” CBS New York, June 25
Meredith, Maya. Wade in the Water, Justseeds, March
Williams, Sharnice. The Art of Racism