At Kapp Kapp: Never Look Down On Anybody Unless You’re Helping Him Up, Recent Work From Dorrie Reid Through August 15, 2020//

Kapp Kapp is pleased to announce Never Look Down on Anybody Unless You’re Helping Him Up, its debut exhibition of NIAD artist Dorrie Reid, and Reid’s first solo exhibition. Reid, will present ten recent ceramic sculptures and a wall-hanging quilt at the gallery’s Philadelphia location.

Reid’s inspirations are wide-reaching, from animals and environmental concerns, to pop culture and the Black Panther movement. Working between many media, the artist’s vibrant and energetic ceramics are the keystone of this exhibition. With examples of African and domestic cats, technicolor horses, and even convexly reptilian figures, Reid’s powerful new images, encapsulate the energy of her subjects through playful and exciting means. 

Take Untitled, 2019, a free-standing ceramic cat sculpture, for which Reid has charmingly exaggerated its features, applying a humanoid nose with bulging eyes, a wide, open mouth, and a tail curling into the shape of a heart. Doubling down on its spirited form, Reid applies several colors of glaze in vertical stripes and an outer layer of polka-dots, furthering her spontaneous animation. Or take Reid’s Untitled black cat sculpture (again referencing the Black Panthers), almost arachnid in its wide sprawl and red detailing, the artist’s abstraction is built upon her familiar imagery.

The title of the exhibition comes from a ceramic wall piece, with the same saying interspersed with polka-dots, stripes, and more cat figures, repeating the same motif as in Untitled, 2019, and at once reminiscent of Howardena Pindell’s canvasses. Reid often returns to text as a succinct communicative device in her work. In Reid’s 2018 wall-hanging quilt All The Power To the Earth, whichtoys with the iconic slogan of the Black Panthers, the artists suggests the same political urgency to protect the natural environment. Reid’s repetition and alteration of this powerful phrase is not unlike her repetition of familiar images. Reid’s process allows her to analyze and imagine a vibrant and inventive new form.

Founded by Sammy Kapp in 2019, Kapp Kapp is a contemporary art gallery located in the Gayborhood of Philadelphia. Kapp Kapp is dedicated to working with artists to build insightful, vibrant, and intimate exhibitions, also producing artist books, and catalogues. In 2020, Sammy’s twin brother, Daniel, joined as partner and Kapp Kapp opened its second location in New York’s Tribeca Neighborhood.

This exhibition is open to the public by appointment only — but due to COVID safety measures — and viewable through August 15 at Kapp Kapp’s flagship location at 333 South 13th Street in Philadelphia.