Celeste Rapone (b. 1985, New Jersey) is known for narrative paintings that blur the boundaries between figuration and abstraction. At the core of Rapone’s practice are formalist concerns such as surface, pattern, and color that shape the artist’s inventive figures and scenes. The protagonists of these paintings – often female – are shown in varying moments of repose and activity, their bodies unapologetically spilling towards the edges of the canvas. Emphasizing the act of observation in her work, Rapone layers autobiographical and art historical sources that transcend appropriation.
Celeste Rapone received her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2007 and her MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2013 where she is an adjunct professor in painting and drawing. Rapone’s work has been exhibited widely across the U.S. and abroad at Josh Lilley, London; Corbett vs. Dempsey, Chicago; Roberts Projects, Los Angeles; Julius Caesar, Chicago; The Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago and Georgia Museum of Art. Rapone was the 2018 recipient of a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant. She has been the subject of recent solo exhibitions at Josh Lilley, London and Corbett vs Dempsey, Chicago. Rapone lives and works in Chicago, IL.