Private View: Gina Beavers 'Tennis Ball Yellow'

An early title for this show was going to be 1-888-NYC-Well, that’s the number for the depression hotline in New York where I live, making these works was like dialing that number and feeling better every time.

When I first saw the Carl Kostyál space, I thought immediately of Sherlock Holmes’s library but the green floor in that wood paneled room also reminded me of images I had seen of the first tennis courts, paneled rooms that eventually gave way to grass green surfaces.

I went to buy birthday balloons and in the midst of all the pink, purple and brightly colored festive Mylar, helium balloons, there was one clearly designated for boys, with soccer balls, basketballs and baseballs on it, on a blue and white background.

I scrawled ‘tennis ball yellow’ as an instruction on a photo/sketch for my assistant Rachel, and she showed me how she mixes it, with light cadmium yellow and a touch of viridian green. This was a revelation to me, I would have tried yellow with little black, which would have been too muddy and dark, her combo makes a very accurate, vibrant hue.

I learned from an article in the Sun* that tennis balls used to be white, the contrast of the white ball against the dark grass worked well on black and white TV, but with the advent of color television, viewers found the white balls hard to make out. Different hues of bright, neon balls were tested and a greenish yellow ball was settled on in 1972. Side note, the All England club adopted this version of the ball in 1986.

I used to have a mean backhand, although I couldn’t make the tennis team in high school. I would be winning a match and then choke. It’s really true when people say tennis is a mental game.
-Gina Beavers, Brooklyn, NY 2017

*Newton, J. (2017, July 6). NEW BALLS PLEASE This is surprising reason why Wimbledon tennis balls are yellow…and how they were very nearly neon pink. The Sun. Retrieved from

Gina Beavers lives and works in New York City. She holds a BA in Studio Art and Anthropology from the University of Virginia (1996), an MFA in Painting and Drawing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2000) and an MS in Education from Brooklyn College (2005).

She creates paintings and installations from photos culled from the Internet and social media and rendered in high acrylic relief. Series include paintings based on the creative realms of body painting, social media user’s photos of their meals, make-up tutorials, memes, and body builder selfies.

Gina has exhibited solo projects at GNYP (Berlin), Frieze (New York 2016), Michael Benevento (Los Angeles), Clifton Benevento (New York), Retrospective (Hudson, NY), Fourteen30 (Portland, Or), James Fuentes (New York), Nudashank (Baltimore, MD), and Material Art Fair (Mexico City). She has participated in numerous group shows, among them, MoMA PS1 (Long Island City, NY), Lumber Room (Portland, Or), Kentucky Museum of Contemporary Art (Louisville, KY), Nassau County Museum of Art (Long Island, NY), Flag Art Foundation (New York), William Benton Museum of Art (Storrs, Ct), Abrons Art Center (New York), Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, New York), Cheim and Read (New York), JTT (New York), Canada Gallery (New York), Valentin (Paris), Galerie Opdahl (Norway), and Night Gallery (Los Angeles). Her work has been reviewed in the New York Times, Artforum, Frieze, the New Yorker and Modern Painters, among others.
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