Skip to content

Etel Adnan, Kahlil Robert Irving, Colter Jacobsen

March 18 – July 31, 2020

An abstract painting in tones of green, yellow and purple

Etel Adnan, Untitled, 2019. Oil on canvas, 16 x 13 inches (40.6 x 33 cm). Photo Peter Clough

An abstract painting of squares and rectangles in tones of blue, green, orange, brown, and white

Etel Adnan, Untitled, 2019. Oil on canvas, 16 x 13 inches (40.6 x 33 cm). Photo Peter Clough

An abstract painting of a mountain peak in blue, green, beige, pink, and yellow tones

Etel Adnan, Untitled, 2019. Oil on canvas, 16 x 13 inches (40.6 x 33 cm). Photo Peter Clough

An abstract painting of a mountain in tones of green, yellow, and white

Etel Adnan, Untitled, 2019. Oil on canvas, 16 x 13 inches (40.6 x 33 cm). Photo Peter Clough

A collograph print in black and white ink, with a pool of silver ink, and various collaged elements embedded in the surface

Kahlil Robert Irving, Spring streets & stars | Rose Memories & foil (To: Jack), 2019. Collograph and collaged found objects. 94 5/8 x 42 3/8 x 1/4 inches (240.3 x 107.6 x .6 cm). Printed at Bedrock Art Editions, Kansas City, MO


A collograph print by Kahil Robert Irving with tire marks, red/green/yellow splotches of color, and a white bar of color at left. Also includes found objects (pizza box, empty cigarette carton, McDonald's french fry box) embedded in the surface.

Kahlil Robert Irving, Black Space ≈ Street Freedom (⊕Real Road ⊥ imbedded flags⊗) “No I don’t smoke,” 2019. Collograph and collaged found objects, 95 5/8 x 42 3/8 x 3/4 inches (242.9 x 107.6 x 1.9 cm). Printed at Bedrock Art Editions, Kansas City, MO


Press Release

    Callicoon Fine Arts is pleased to present artworks by three intergenerational artists from the gallery’s program: Etel Adnan, Kahlil Robert Irving, and Colter Jacobsen. Selected wall works display a panorama of the artists’ approaches to their respective environments. The exhibition offers an opportunity to engage with concerns (concepts, forms, and materials) that have long been central to each artist’s practice. 

    Four paintings by Etel Adnan reflect her aesthetic and philosophical immersion in the landscape of Northern California. Rendering the mountainous region into blocks of color painted in vivid hues, Adnan applies her paint with a palette knife to provide depth and texture. Two of the works on-view contain forms that allude to Adnan’s beloved Mount Tamalpais near her former home in Northern California. The meeting of land and sea, or land and horizon line, is produced by unexpected shifts in tone, so that landscape becomes a place of the mind, as well as of place and experience. As both an artist and a poet, Adnan’s practice conveys a transference between landscape and psyche. In Journey to Mount Tamalpais, an essay written by Adnan in 1986, she recounts insights acquired during her first painting workshop: “Painters have always experienced the oneness of things. They are aware that there is interference and intervention between the world and ourselves.” 

    Kahlil Robert Irving’s two large collographs are his most recent impressions in printing that utilize an etching press, inks, and found objects in unconventional ways. Here, Irving uses litter commonly found on the streets of inner-city and rural neighborhoods, such as discarded cigarette cartons or fast food containers, and runs the objects through an inked press, attaching them on top of each eight-foot-work on paper. Given that waste is always in relation to mass production and wealth, litter signifies the inequity of capitalist production. This inequity is mapped onto the landscape of cities in the United States, where oppressed communities are oversaturated with fast food restaurants and liquor stores, resulting in the accumulation of discarded packaging, liquor bottles, utensils, and so forth. Irving’s printing process alchemizes street objects into stellar constellations, reminiscent of gazing up at the night sky from the city street below. In the black, heavily textured prints speckled with illusion, asphalt elides into outer space. Tire tracks and pools of black ink revolve in orbit, alluding to a struggle for freedom and a capacity to imagine Black liberation in the United States. 

    WIND WATER MATTER MIND (mirrored) is a “concrete poem painting” by Colter Jacobsen, which uses strategies common to his practice like doubling, mirroring, and hidden wordplay to form an abstract composition. The artist applies bright hues of acrylic paint to canvas in geometric forms deriving from the artwork’s titular letters. The repetitive, steady pattern of these forms focuses the viewer’s attention and guides them to deeper recesses of observation. “Wind Water Matter Mind” acts as an elemental organizing principle and a poetic mantra. The paired, mirrored sounds—“wind and mind” and “water and matter”—hum in tandem with Jacobsen’s visual techniques to produce a trance-like effect, guiding the viewer to let go of their material self. Such immersion signals the ways in which Jacobsen approaches his spirituality and surroundings, susceptible to profound shifts in meaning.

Etel Adnan (b. 1925, Lebanon, Beirut) lives and works in Paris, France. She undertook her early education in Beirut, and went on to study at the Sorbonne, Paris; the University of California, Berkeley; and Harvard University, Cambridge. Adnan has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Mudam Luxembourg, Luxembourg-Kirchberg; the Aspen Art Museum, Colorado; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMoMA), California; MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA; Serpentine Galleries, London; and Museum Der Moderne Salzburg, Austria, among others. She participated in the 11th Shanghai Biennale (2017), the 11th Istanbul Biennial (2015), Sharjah Biennial 12 (2015), the 2014 Whitney Biennial, and Documenta 13 (2012). Her work is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York; Pompidou Centre, Paris; M+, Hong Kong; the British Museum, London; and the National Museum for Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C., among many others.

Kahlil Robert Irving (b. 1992, San Diego, CA) lives and works in the United States. In 2017, Callicoon Fine Arts mounted his first solo exhibition in New York titled Streets:Chains:Cocktails. Since then, his work has been exhibited at the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, KS; the ASU Art museum, Tempe, AZ; and the RISD Museum, Providence, RI, among others. Irving's work is featured in Making Knowing: Craft in Art, 1950–2019 at the Whitney Museum in New York City, on-view through January 2021. He recently opened solo exhibitions at the Contemporary Art Center (CAC), Cincinnati, OH, and Jenkins Johnson Gallery, San Francisco, CA. A solo exhibition is planned to take place at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (CAMSTL) later this year. His work is in the collections of J.P Morgan Chase Art Collection, New York; Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, KS; the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Recently, he was awarded the 2019 Biennial Grant by the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation and was a winner of the 2019 Miami University Young Sculptors Competition.

Colter Jacobsen (b. 1975, Ramona, CA) lives and works in San Francisco, CA. In 2010, he received SFMoMA’s prestigious SECA Art Award, which granted him a solo exhibition at the museum in 2011. He is scheduled to have a solo exhibition at Corvi Mora, London, later this year and has had solo exhibitions at Anglim Gilbert Gallery, San Francisco, CA; Callicoon Fine Arts, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego La Jolla, California; LAXART, Los Angeles; and CCA Wattis Institute, California College of Arts, Oakland, CA. His work has appeared in group exhibitions at SFMoMA, the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, and the 12th Istanbul Biennial. His work can be found in the collections of SFMoMA and KADIST, both in San Francisco; The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, CA; and The Museum of Everything, London. 

Callicoon Fine Arts is located at 49 Delancey Street between Forsyth and Eldridge Streets. Gallery hours are Wednesday to Sunday, 10:30am to 6:30pm. The nearest subway stops are the B and D trains at Grand Street and the F, J, M and Z trains at Delancey-Essex Street. Contact: Photi Giovanis,, 212-219-0326 for further information.

Back To Top