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Kristen Sanders' richly colored paintings explore the crux of what makes us human; imagining a moment of first consciousness of a hypothetical early human ancestor. Since 2015 her work has been circling between the extreme past of hominids millions of years ago and the increasingly closer future of robots with super-human powers and artificial intelligence. Sanders is fascinated by self-invention, and distinguishing the human from both the animal and the animatronic. Her work posits that behaviors such as making a mark, or the first non-utilitarian artwork, should be valorized before corporeal evolution. By considering these defining moments for the pre-human, we can then reframe the post-human, negotiating our current unease with AI and its possible outpacing of the human body – arriving at a post-body consciousness.

Kristen Sanders (b. 1989, California) lives and works in St. Paul, MN. She received a BA from the University of California Davis, and an MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University. Solo and two person exhibitions include Dreamsong, Minneapolis, MN, St. Cloud State University, St Cloud, MN, Kathryn Brennan Gallery, New York, NY, Step Sister, New York, NY, Sadie Halie Projects, Minneapolis, MN, and Sediment Arts, Richmond, VA. Group exhibitions include Good Mother, Los Angeles, Night Club, Minneapolis, MN, Hair & Nails, Minneapolis, MN, O’Flaherty’s, New York, NY, Monti 8, Latina, Italy, Moosey Art, London, UK, Mana Contemporary, Jersey City, NJ, The Quarter Gallery, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, Katherine E. Nash Gallery, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, Left Field, Los Osos, CA, H.G. Inn, Chicago, IL, White Columns, New York, NY, and Patrick Parrish Gallery, NY. Residencies include The Maple Terrace, Brooklyn, Lacuna Gallery, Minneapolis, David Wurtzel Travel Scholarship, Florence, Italy, and Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, VT. Sanders has received press in BOMB Magazine, ARTNews, and New American Paintings. She currently teaches at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.