Entangled bodies in a queer black domestic: Jonathan Lyndon Chase
An exhibition of paintings by American artist Jonathan Lyndon Chase portrays pictorial renders of their daily life, but through it reveals how queer black space can be revealed within everyday domestic scenes, as Nyima Murry & Teshome Douglas-Campbell discover.

Imagining non-binary ways of being in domestic and public space is on the periphery of how the architectural profession currently thinks about space. In their first UK solo show, Now I’m home, lips that know my name, Philadelphia based artist Jonathan Lyndon Chase shares a heartfelt glimpse into black queerness in the city, with intimacy and vulnerability. Exploring everyday spaces, architectural motifs are appropriated, stretched, contorted, and repeated to take on new connotations.

The show centres around a single room, at the heart of which lies a large red timber installation house, with cut-out windows offering views through to the thirteen large scale surrounding paintings that line the gallery walls. Bricks are crudely painted onto its exterior, piles of men’s underwear, Nike trainer boxers, and lipstick-stained tissues scattered around the red room, there is a roughness to the installation that contrasts with the tenderness depicted in the figurative work.

The paintings blend into the surreal, with bodies becoming so entangled that the individuals are lost. Using motifs from domestic space, the work is able to move from scene to scene – the familiarity of sofas, vases, watches, and even kitchen utensils now all taking on new meanings to that which we might instinctively associate. The world we are invited to enter feels like one of many queertopias, where images of domestic scenes depicted ways of living architecture has traditionally not designed for, nor understood.

Through placing a house at the centre of the show, but stripping it of everything but the bedroom, ideas of public/private are felt throughout the collection of paintings, collages, and video installation. The central gallery is curated to feel distinctly civic, with colourful wooden benches that feature cut out portrait silhouettes creating the sense of a public square, pushing the deeply intimate paintings out into this very public arena. The artist references this in some of their mixed media pieces, where photographs of a streetscapes and a cut out from a men’s barber catalogue are collaged into the work.

The elements of the black queer experience to build a notion of love, sex, pleasure, and space – one that feels very much to have spawned from existing outside of the exhibition – it does however feel like an intentional invitation into this world. And, it feels like an invitation that is deeply autobiographical, rooted in the happening of people and place, where the point of convergence between the two becomes the point at which a snapshot of is taken. Rarely is love and sex put together so tenderly.

The exhibition provides visions of narratives outside of the binary. There’s a distinct feeling, that the mythologies we live our lives by do not exist in this world. Where love is not happily ever after, but something which is more present set within a backdrop of spaces appropriated to cultivate this. In this work, there is something the architectural profession can both learn from, as well as learn to acknowledge. Here, private and public spaces are played upon and reflected back to us with a queer and black splendour.

Jonathan Lyndon Chase (b.1989), obtained an MFA from Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, in 2016. Recent solo exhibitions include FOG, Company Gallery, New York (2022); WEST PHILADELPHIA BORN AND RAISED, Shandaken Projects, Brooklyn (2021); Big Wash, Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia (2021); Wind Rider, Company Gallery, New York, (2020); Pond Society, Shanghai, (2019); Quiet Storm, Company Gallery, New York (2018). Recent group exhibitions include Unmasking Masculinity for the Twenty-first Century, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Kalamazoo, USA (2022); Fire Figure Fantasy, ICA Miami, Miami; REPEATER, Sadie Coles HQ, London (2022); WHAT DO YOU SEE, YOU PEOPLE GAZING AT ME, Sadie Coles HQ, London, (2021); New Grit: Art & Philly Now, Philadelphia Museum of Art Philadelphia (2021); New Acquisitions, Rubell Museum, Miami (2018). Chase lives and works in Philadelphia.

Nyima Murry is a British-Tibetan architectural designer, curator, and filmmaker. She is currently undertaking a Masters in Landscape Architecture at the Bartlett, UCL.

Teshome Douglas-Campbell is a London-based architectural designer, alumnus of the New Architecture Writers (NAW) programme and founding member of PATCH Collective. Through the varied disciplines of architecture, visual art and journalism he explores ideas around the built environment through the lens of the diaspora.


Jonathan Lyndon Chase, Now I’m home, lips that know my name, was exhibited at Sadie Coles HQ, London. Further details at:


all images Installation view, Jonathan Lyndon Chase, Now I’m home, lips that know my name, Sadie Coles HQ, London, 25 January – 11 March 2023. © Jonathan Lyndon Chase, Courtesy Sadie Coles HQ, London. Photos by Katie Morrison

publication date
15 March 2023

Black, Brick, Teshome Douglas-Campbell, Gay, Jonathan Lyndon Chase, Domestic, Home, Nyima Murry, Painting, Sadie Coles HQ, Queer


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