Sleep Numbers

Anna Kell, Bucknell University

SLEEP NUMBERS, a solo exhibition by Anna Kell

Milton Art Bank, Milton PA

Feb 16-May 6, 2023

photo credit: Jeffrey Burrell & MAB



Interested in intersections of seemingly oppositional forces, artist Anna Kell typically explores how binarisms—nature/culture, male/female, trash/glamor—are reinforced by cultural imagery and narratives. Relatedly, Kell’s work foregrounds the rawness and authenticity of the unconventional, everyday materials she uses while simultaneously reframing the materials within (or as) spaces of painterly illusionism. This sensibility encourages a process of reorientation as viewers must navigate the relationship between materials and images.

In Sleep Numbers, Kell presents a collection of explorations based on the sleeping figures found in mattress advertisements. While the ads hinge on a logic of artifice that seems to prioritize the complexity of individuals while subtly pitting them against one another, Kell uses the figures, which maintain the original tension of sleepless nights and domestic disagreement, to expose how even our most personal rituals and private moments have been commodified. The solution is simple: a new personalized mattress! All you have to do is discover the sleep number that is right for you.