Kenrick McFarlane received his BFA from the School of Art Institute of Chicago and studied in the MFA program at University of California, Los Angeles. McFarlane had his debut solo show, Face Off, at the Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago and has since exhibited across the U.S. and South Africa.
In 2012, McFarlane was selected by Kerry James Marshall to participate in the exhibition Eclectic Coherence, curated by Dawoud Bey, at Expo Chicago. McFarlane’s work was most recently exhibited as a part of Shattered Glass at Jeffrey Deitch Gallery in Los Angeles. Kenrick McFarlane lives and works in Los Angeles.
Kenrick McFarlane’s paintings dwell in moments of tense contradiction, negotiating the gaps between the private and public self, vulgarity and beauty. His works exude a psychological intensity—wide-eyed gazes disrupt swirls of miasmic color; faces are obscured by wisping masks, as if each figure is caught in a dreamlike stream of consciousness. McFarlane passionately converses with the creative histories with which he paints through, which stretch from German Expressionism to trap. However, his paintings are not the distanced observations of a documentarian, but rather painterly extrapolations marked by a sense of personal implication – McFarlane lives within these same registers, working as a Black artist, conversing with art history, navigating complex sexual climates.