Jenni Crain

Synonyms for Sorrow

June 19–July 31, 2022

New York

Gordon Robichaux is honored to present two related exhibitions celebrating Jenni Crain’s expansive vision as a curator and artist: Synonyms for Sorrow, Crain’s final curatorial project realized during her lifetime, and an exhibition of her own artwork created shortly before her sudden passing in 2021.

Synonyms for Sorrow was curated by Crain at the invitation of SORT and presented at Charim Schleifmühlgasse in Vienna, Austria, from October 23 to November 28, 2021. The group exhibition features work by seven artists—Patricia L. Boyd, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Taylor Davis, Masao Gozu, Dan Graham, Park McArthur, and Shanekia McIntosh—in varied media including video, sculpture, photography, and text. The show is installed at Gordon Robichaux in suite 925 in a similar arrangement to the original presentation Crain realized in Vienna.

In Gordon Robichaux’s second exhibition space in suite 907, the gallery will show two of Crain’s artworks—a wood sculpture presented on a pedestal near the floor and a framed photograph—originally created for the group show In an Archipelago, curated by Parker Kay at Pumice Raft in Toronto, Canada (May 5–May 30, 2021). These two works are among the last pieces Crain completed during her lifetime.

Install (11)

Synonyms for Sorrow

Curatorial text by Jenni Crain

I am reluctant to extend too many words that seek to describe this space referred to as sorrow, which I hope, here, might be felt. Held. Independently. Together. Not held in a way that contains, but held in a way that acknowledges, appreciates, addresses, resonates, reverberates, shakes, wakes, and also rests. For a moment.

I am interested in the idea of sitting with sorrow.

I have been thinking about sorrow as some sort of gravitational understanding. A knowing that is carried in the body, or exists in the body, as what is conventionally considered as diametric, as opposition. These concurrent sensations simultaneously weigh one down, churn one up, and uproot. Existing, together, as suspension. A sensorial cyclone that displaces singularity.

Sorrow is beyond the body.

It seems to be a longing that is based both here and now and elsewhere.

Sorrow seems to be tethered to a connection between someone or something or someplace and someone or something or someplace else.

Its forms of isolation are always in proximity to another.


What’s so tender about sorrow is that this longing for what is not coexists with this type of coursing understanding that it cannot be. This is known in a nature not unlike breathing.

But just as vital as this knowing of what cannot and will not be, there is, in sorrow, a dependence on hope for that which cannot and will not be.

Nurture is not orderly.

Order does not amount to anything greater than these hallows of honesty.

I feel quite close to something dear when I sit with sorrow. Its absence seems to beat in the heart.

The two exhibitions at Gordon Robichaux were realized in collaboration with The Jenni Crain Foundation; Miryam Charim and Martyn Reynolds, Charim Galerie; Rasmus Thor Christensen, Christian Andersen; Maxwell Graham / Essex Street; Yumi Gozu, Peter Harkawik, Miles Huston, Parker Kay, Pumice Raft; Kristen Dodge, SEPTEMBER; Katharina Höglinger and Myles Starr, SORT; and the artists, without whom this would not be possible.


Dan Graham, Pavillions

Video (color, sound)

26 minutes



Cherry burl

21 x 4 x 5 inches


Masao Gozu, Mott Street (Chinatown) 4 PM, May 18, 1972

Archival print

16 x 20 inches


Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Re Dis Appearing

Video (black and white, sound)

2:30 minutes


Shanekia McIntosh, Epitaph

Poem printed in wall vinyl

Dimensions variable


Park McArthur, Involuntary Questions

Laser print, framed

11.69 x 8.27 inches


Park McArthur, ...synthetic questions...

Laser print

11.69 x 8.27 inches


Park McArthur, Some follow up questions

Laser print

11.69 x 8.27 inches


Park McArthur, These are the questions I would ask

Laser print

11.69 x 8.27 inches


Patricia L. Boyd, Absorption, Elimination: Technics SL-1200MK2 (CCA Wattis, 10/12/1702/24/18)

Used restaurant grease, wax, damar, resin, and particle board

23.5 x 15.6 x 3.8 inches


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