Artist of the Week: Clare Grill

Clare Grill lives and works in Queens, New York. Solo exhibitions include Soloway, (Brooklyn, NY), Reserve Ames, (Los Angeles, CA), Fred Giampietro Gallery (New Haven, CT), Edward Thorp Gallery (New York, NY), and Real Art Ways (Hartford, CT). Her work has been featured in group exhibitions throughout the United States at spaces such as Nudashank Gallery (Baltimore, MD), Marc Jancou Contemporary (New York, NY), Roots and Culture (Chicago, IL), George Lawson Gallery (San Francisco, CA), Pennsylvania College of Art and Design (Lancaster, PA) and the New Britain Museum of American Art (New Britain, CT). Since receiving her MFA from Pratt Institute in 2005, Grill has participated in the Aljira Emerge Program (2007), the AIM Program at the Bronx Museum (2008), and received the 2011 Pratt Alumni Award to attend the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do. I’m a painter, born and raised in the Chicago suburbs, and I’ve lived in New York the past 11 years.

How has living in New York City affected your art practice? It’s given me confidence and nerve. It’s made me feel like part of something really big and energetic. It’s made me a better artist by showing me great art.

Who is your ideal studio mate? My husband and I essentially share a studio, only he’s writing a dissertation and I’m painting. We wear headphones and don’t bother eachother. It’s pretty nice. I don’t think I could work well sharing with another artist.

If you were a drink what drink would you be? A negroni ha!

How did your interest in art begin? Copying pictures in my coloring books when I was little and feeling excited that my drawings looked like the pictures.

What artists are you interested in right now? Michael Berryhill’s show at Kansas is great, Sam Bittman’s show at Greenpoint Terminal is too, Michael Willams, Ryan McLaughlin, Scott Olsen, Kyle Staver, Nat Meade; I’m trading work soon with Katie Bell and I can’t wait.

Tell us about your work process and how it develops. I look at something, start painting, scrape, sand, paint, rub, scrape, etc. I look at the painting for guidance. I paint holding the thing in my lap. I paint until I’ve made a painting. 

What do you want a viewer to walk away with after seeing your work? The feeling that I care a whole lot about what I’m making.

What’s your absolute favorite place in the city/the world to be? Madrid. Or my parents’ deck, or in front of a fireplace anywhere, or the MET at night.

What are you reading right now? A book of Guston essays/interviews! I’ve underlined and dog-earred the whole book it feels like. Also George Saunders, “Tenth of December” and Alice Munro, “Dear Life”.