In a body of work situated at the precipice between personal and collective experience, Vaughn Spann produces distinctly textured paintings and sculptures where form gives way to feeling. He incorporates visual and tactile references throughout his work which elicit a tension between abstraction and figuration. Never quite rendering the body, Spann suggests a human presence hidden throughout formal gestures of color and texture. The artist’s works point towards a cycle of art, politics, and personal experience as the inseparable and mutually co-created elements of contemporary existence. Spann’s bodies of work mine the histories of art, activism, and the discourses of social practice to reflect upon their inextricable relationships.
Vaughn Spann was born in Florida (1992) and lives and works in Newark, New Jersey. He received his BFA from Rutgers University (2014) and his MFA from Yale University (2018). Spann’s work has been exhibited at the Newark Museum, Reginald Lewis Museum in Baltimore, Perez Art Museum Miami, and the Rubell Museum. Recent press includes Artnet, Blouin Artinfo, ARTnews, The New York Times, Bloomberg, Galerie Magazine, Vice, and W Magazine. Spann’s works are part of major contemporary art collections including public collections such as High Museum of Art (Atlanta) and Perez Art Museum Miami. Recent exhibitions include “Scorched Earth and The Weeping Sun” at Takashi Murakami’s Kaikai Kiki Gallery, Tokyo. Among his awards is an Alice Kimball traveling fellowship (2017) and among his residencies is NXTHVN in New Haven, CT.
Born in 1992, in Florida; lives and works in Newark, NJ
Yale School of Art, Master of Fine Arts, New Haven, CT
Rutgers State University, Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art, Newark, NJ
Lineage, Samek Art Museum, Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA
Vaughn Spann: Open Onto, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO
Chapel Paintings, David Castillo, Miami, FL
Smoke Signals, Almine Rech Gallery, Brussels, Belgium
The Heat Lets Us Know We’re Alive, Almine Rech Gallery, New York, NY
Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, David Castillo, Miami Beach, FL
Scorched Earth and The Weeping Sun, Kaikai Kiki, Tokyo, Japan
Dalmatian Paintings, Night Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Orange, Yellow, Purple, Blue Skies, Half Gallery, New York, NY
Sympathetic Magic, Blum & Poe, Los Angeles, CA
Polyphonic: Celebrating PAMM’s Fund for African American Art, Perez Art Museum, Miami, FL
Young Gifted and Black, Selections from the Lumpkin-Boccuzzi Family
Collection, Concordia College, Bronxville, NY
Domestic Horror, Gagosian Gallery, New York, NY
LINEUP, curated by Alex Bacon, Almine Rech Gallery, New York, NY
The Barn Show, Johannes Vogt Gallery, East Hampton, NY
“As Long as We’re Flying…”, Luce Gallery, Turin, Italy
Museum Contemporary Arts Foundation, Miami, FL
Unparalleled Journey Through Contemporary Art of Past 50 Years, Rubell Museum, Miami, FL
Rubell Family Collection: New Acquisitions, Miami, FL
The Strangeness Will Wear Off, David Castillo, Miami Beach, FL
Early 21st Century Art, Almine Rech, London, UK
Familiar Boundaries. Infinite Possibilities, August Wilson Center, Pittsburgh, PA
Shifting Gaze: Selections from the Collection of Dr. Robert B. Feldman, Mennello Museum of American Art, Orlando, FL
A Scratch In Time, Thierry Goldberg Gallery, New York, NY
If I Go There, I Won’t Stay There, LTD Los Angeles, CA
Paradise, Night Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Four Artists (Felipe Baeza, Anja Solonen, Jenna Gribbon, and Vaughn Spann), Fredericks & Freiser, Chelsea, NY
Eight Emerging Artists, Steven Zevitas Gallery, Boston, MA
Way Out Now, Diane Rosenstein Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
The New Contemporaries, Residency Gallery, Inglewood, CA
Countervisuality, Bellevue College Gallery, Bellevue, WA
Kaleidoscope, Kravets and Wehby Gallery, Chelsea, NY
Universal Belonging, Prizm, Miami, FL
Feast, Yale School of Art, New Haven, CT
Higher Ground, Mercer Contemporary, New York, NY
Exchange, Rush Gallery, Chelsea, NY
First Time, Yale School of Art, New Haven, CT
Black Joy, Edgewood Gallery, New Haven, CT
Power, Protest and Resistance, Skylight Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
After Afropolitan, Weeksville Heritage Center/CCCADI, Brooklyn, NY
For Whom it Stands, Reginald F. Lewis Museum, Baltimore, MD
Sayej, Nadja, Latin American, Digital, and Abstract Art Are in the Spotlight at Art Basel Miami Beach, December 2, 2021,
Gilson, Nancy. “Scantland family donates art as well as a $2 million endowment to Columbus Museum of Art”, The Columbus Dispatch, 22 June 2021.
Spalding, Jill. “Art by Remote: Art Basel Miami Beach”, Studio International, December 2020.
Kinsella, Eileen. “Phillips’s Robust $135 Million New York Auction Sets Records for a Half-Dozen Black Artists, Rising Stars and Midcareer Figures Alike”, Artnet News, December 7, 2020.
“Who Will Shape the Art World in 2021?: ARTnews Presents ‘The Deciders’”, Artnews, December 1, 2020.
“Artists Envision a New Kind of Political Poster”, W Magazine, October 22, 2020.
Cascone, Sarah. “David Zwirner Is Hosting a Star-Studded Sale With Works by More Than 100 Artists to Raise Money for Joe Biden’s Campaign”, Artnet News, September 8, 2020.
Valentine, Victoria L. “Pérez Art Museum Miami Exhibition Celebrates African American Art Acquisitions, Presents Rich Array of Artistic Voices,” Culture Type, May 27, 2020.
Sutton, Benjamin. “What Sold during Armory Week”, Artsy, March 9, 2020.
Battaglia, Andy, Maximiliano Duron, Alex Greenberger, “‘It Can Hit Us, But It Won’t Defeat Us’: Armory Show Proves Resilient in Face of Coronavirus Fears and Complications”, Artnews, March 4, 2020.
Carrigan, Margaret. “New York’s Armory Show sees solid sales despite coronavirus risk”, The Art Newspaper, March 5, 2020.
Sutton, Benjamin. “What Sold at Art Basel in Miami Beach”, Artsy, December 9, 2019.
“Price Check! Here’s What Sold—and for How Much—at Art Basel in Miami Beach 2019”, Artnet News, December 9, 2019.
Uszerowicz, Monica. “ Vaughn Spann: David Castillo Gallery”, Artforum, November 2019.
Sang, Elliot. “How Vaughn Spann Became the Art World’s New Favorite Painter”, Highsnobiety, April 24, 2019.
Brown, Patricia Leigh. “An Artist Rises, and Brings a Generation With Him”, The New York Times, April 12, 2019.
“The Rising Star: Vaughn Spann Has Arrived”, Juxtapoz Magazine, March 26, 2019.
Goldstein, Caroline. “Price Check! Here’s What Sold—and for How Much—at the 2019 Armory Show in New York”, Artnet News, March 11, 2019.
Solway, Diane, Antwaun Sargent & Janelle Zara. “The 6 Rising Artists to Watch in 2019”, W Magazine, January 29, 2019.
“August Wilson Center Presents Familiar Boundaries. Infinite Possibilities”, Hyperallergic, January 17, 2019.
Kazakina, Katya. “A Handcuffed Madoff Interests Wilbur Ross on Miami Art Trip”, Bloomberg, December 10, 2018.
Cohen, Alina. “The Artists Everyone Talked about during Art Basel in Miami Beach”, Artsy, December 7, 2018.
“6 Emerging Artists to Seek Out During Art Basel Miami Beach This Week”, Artnet News, December 4, 2018.
Cascone, Sarah. “Editors’ Picks: 17 Things Not to Miss in New York’s Art World This Week”, Artnet News, November 26, 2018.
Indrisek, Scott. “17 Shows You Need to See during Frieze Week in London”, Artsy, October 1, 2018.
“’If I go there, I won’t stay there”, Contemporary Art Daily, November 4, 2018.
Laster, Paul. “See Highlights of Expo Chicago 2018”, Galerie Magazine, October 1, 2018.
Zara, Janelle. “Fake it ‘Til You Make It: The Artist Bootlegs of EBO Club TM”, Garage, August 20, 2018.
Sargent, Antwaun. “Where ‘Block Party’ Has a Score of Meanings”, The New York Times, August 16, 2018.
Berg, Tatiana. “Must-See Art Guide: Boston”, Artnet News, July 26, 2018.
Cascone, Sarah. “Editors’ Picks: 12 Things Not to Miss in New York’s Art World This Week”, Artnet News, July 9, 2018.
Goldstein, Caroline. “Beat the Heat with These 19 Summer Group Shows on. View Now in New York”, Artnet News, July 4, 2018.
“Gallery Hopping on Opening Night in Chelsea”, Arte Fuse, June 22, 2018.
Bray, Nicole. “Artist Spotlight: Vaughn Spann. A Rising Star of Materiality and Abstraction”, Art Real, January 18, 2018.
Sargent, Antwaun. “How Black Artists, Dealers, and Collectors Are Boosting the Careers of Their Younger Peers”, Artsy, December 14, 2017.
Ward, Kaitlyn. “Tracking the Curation Process: Road Trip”, Sotheby’s, October 12, 2017.
“RU-N Alumnus Paints Mural to Celebrate Love”, Rutgers, October 2017.
Rhodan, Aaron. “#ShareBlackJoy at Yale School of Art”, Ebony, November 25, 2016.
Titus Kaphar’s NXTHVN Residency
New American Paintings Cover Artist (Issue No.135)
Alice Kimball English Traveling Fellowship
High Museum of Art, Atlanta
de la Cruz Museum, Miami
UBS Art Collection
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC
Rubell Museum, Miami
Perez Art Museum Miami
The Bunker – DeWoody Collection, West Palm Beach
Credit Suisse Art Collection
Columbus Museum of Art
North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC
The Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY
Brooklyn Museum of Art
Montclair Art Museum, Montclair, NJ
Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, AL
Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields