Frances Waite: I Love it Here

Opening: Friday, Apr 12, 2024 5 – 8 pm
Friday, Apr 12 – Jun 1, 2024

1709 W. Chicago Ave
2nd. Floor
Chicago, IL 60622

View the show on our website here


Western Exhibitions is thrilled to announce our first solo show with Frances Waite, I Love it Here. Waite makes subversive photorealistic figurative graphite drawings that inhabit the zone of tension between truth and fantasy during intimate moments. The female crotch, mostly, is the focus of this body of work, though there is a butt or two. I Love it Here will open with a public reception on Friday, April 12, from 5 to 8pm, and will run through June 1, 2024, in gallery 2 at our Chicago location. Gallery hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 11am to 6pm.

When working on the drawings for I Love it Here, Waite noticed a note taped to her wall that read: “IT GETS WORSE.” This bleak rejoinder served as a reminder of how much was out of her control. Focusing on this note gave her a mantra to repeat during studio time: “Frankie, look how bad it can be, how nice it is to be here drawing this crotch instead.”

Waite’s graphite renderings depict up-close-and-personal moments of connection, exploration, and awe. Gentle and curious, the drawings allow viewers to understand her appreciation of these moments, even if there is an impending doom that creeps in around them. Waite elaborates on her position below:

 Despite my lifetime so far in the arts, the wonderful other artists I know, the shows and the reading, I’ve always felt very outside of this community when it comes to the actual drawing. Not at all in a bad way, and not because what I’m doing is really so different from what my peers are doing, but because the world I live in when I make these things only has room enough for me. I’m an expert in escapism and the only rule that applies is, I’m going alone. It feels in many ways that all the other things that come with art making, titles and names and context and history and “do you like it?”, couldn’t possibly have anything to do with this thing I’m doing. What I’m doing is unfolding one second into forever turning my phone off.

How many seconds do you get to watch somebody you love unbutton the top button? Or the light hit that thing so nice. Or the hair swirl down the drain. And how could that ever be enough? I want to sit in that moment and waste some time. I love it there :)

Frances Waite (b. 1993, Rochester, NY) has had solo shows at Setareh X in Düsseldorf, Elijah Wheat Showroom in New York and Cob Gallery in London and has been included in group shows at Adult Contemporary, Nashville; New Discretions, NYC; Western Exhibitions, Chicago, among several others. Her work has been written about and reproduced in Playboy, Elephant, Fukt Magazine for Contemporary Drawing, Dazed, Office Magazine and Vice's The Creators Project. In 2018 Vogue included Waite in their “World 100,” recognizing the most influential creators of the year. Waite received a BFA from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York in 2015 and currently lives and works in Los Angeles, California.

Image: She's Perfect, 2022. Pencil Drawing on Arches Hot Press Watercolour Paper, 12h x 16w