At Fridman Gallery, Summer Wheat‘s black drinking vessels are shedding in “Cups” (2015). The shapes beside the cups vary between flakes, dots, and drops of black. These cool specks make the black cups look more solid, break up the monotony of the white ba

John Goodrich, Hyperallergic, April 20, 2015

At this very moment, Vermeer may be spinning like a lathe in his grave. Or, just maybe, he’s executing a slow, pleasurable shimmy. In either case, the proximate cause would be Walk-In Pantry, an installation at Fridman Gallery by the artist Summer Wheat.


Inspired by Vermeer’s “The Milkmaid” (c. 1657–58), Wheat has artfully transformed the gallery space, reimagining it as a reflection of the titular milkmaid’s own pantry world. She has accordingly painted the walls to suggest a dark, Egyptian mausoleum, placed colorful transparencies — reminiscent of medieval stained glass — in the gallery windows, and covered part of the floor with “paint-rugs” inscribed with ingredients for dishes like “gau chau gau dumplins.” Are you following? Well, to fully understand the Vermeer connection, gallerygoers will have to linger a bit, and absorb in turn each element of this exuberant, free-wheeling installation. Once the multilayered concept sinks in, it all makes sense, in a circuitous way.