Apr 152022
 

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye’s 2018 painting, The Ever Exacting, from her 2019 exhibition, In Lieu of a Louder Love at Jack Shainman Gallery in NYC.

This poem, written by the artist, was included with the press release for the show-

In Lieu Of A Louder Love

In the Shade of Hooded Cove,

In Debt to the Dead Oak.

In Range of a Twelve Gauge,

On Embers over Smoke.

At Pains to Hold the Wanton,

At Home to all who Knock.

At Prayer on Prickly Hearth Rug,

An Eye upon the Clock.

In the Parlance of the Pilgrim,

In Hallelujah Coat and Tie.

In Soul so Black Beguiling,

That the Ravens do Carp and Cry.

In Memory of A Cipher,

At Peace beside resting Dove.

In Light of Care and Kindness,

In Lieu of A Louder Love.

The information below is from the gallery’s artist biography, and gives some added insight on her paintings.

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye’s oil paintings focus on fictional figures that exist outside of specific times and places. In an interview with Nadine Rubin Nathan in the New York Times Magazine, Yiadom-Boakye described her compositions as “suggestions of people…They don’t share our concerns or anxieties. They are somewhere else altogether.” This lack of a fixed narrative leaves her work open to the projected imagination of the viewer.

Her paintings are rooted in traditional formal considerations such as line, color, and scale, and can be self-reflexive about the medium itself, but the subjects and the way in which the paint is handled is decidedly contemporary. Her predominantly black cast of characters often attracts attention. In an interview with Hans Ulrich Obrist in Kaleidoscope, she explained “People are tempted to politicize the fact that I paint black figures, and the complexity of this is an essential part of the work. But my starting point is always the language of painting itself and how that relates to the subject matter.”

The New Yorker published a wonderful portrait of Yiadom-Boakye by Zadie Smith in 2017, that is well worth a read as well.

Mar 152022
 

Artist Sophie Calle’s Here Lie The Secrets of the Visitors of the Green-Wood Cemetery, a 25 year long public artwork. The project debuted on April 29th and 30th, 2017.

From Creative Time’s website-

To inaugurate the project, the public was invited to Green-Wood Cemetery, a National Historic Landmark, in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, to privately unburden and inter their most intimate confessions.

During the two-day opening, in a setting nestled among the mausoleums and monuments of Green-Wood’s verdant rolling hills, visitors transcribed their secrets onto paper, and deposited them into the earth below, through a slot on a marble obelisk of Calle’s design. The artist was on hand during the two-day event to receive some visitors’ secrets.

The two-day performance was free and open to the public. Guests were invited to spend the day exploring the sculptures and monuments throughout Green-Wood, a tradition that dates back to the early 1800s. Free maps of the cemetery, specially designed to accompany Calle’s installation, were be available. Guided walking tours emphasizing the cemetery’s symbols and iconography were offered at no cost.

Visitors to the Cemetery can now see Calle’s installation during regular cemetery hours and independently deposit secrets into the marble obelisk. Calle has also pledged to return periodically over the next 25 years, each time the grave is filled, to exhume and cremate them in a ceremonial bonfire service and moment of remembrance.

Everyone has a secret to tell, now there’s a place to put one of yours.

 

Mar 102022
 

Sharon Norwood’s Polite Conversation, 2019, part of Spaces Between, the 2021 artist-in residence group show at McColl Center in Charlotte, North Carolina.

She currently has a solo show at Washington and Lee University Museums in Lexington, Virginia, running until May 28th, 2022.

Feb 172022
 

A Surreal Presence for Every Possible State, 2018 by Kenturah Davis from her 2019 exhibition, Blur in the Interest of Precision at Matthew Brown Los Angeles. The four panel work was created using oil paint applied with rubber stamp letters and graphite grid on embossed Mohachi paper.

From the press release-

Blur in the Interest of Precision is a search for parallel conditions between the poetics of our visual experience and the strangeness of our relationship to language. We often use language to carve out distinctions between one thing and another. Davis’ objective—to complicate ideas about meaning, representation and perception—have found refuge in blur and doubling. The new drawings are rendered with arrangements of text, but the words are virtually illegible. Many of the portraits pursue ideas the artist is working through via the writings of Fred Moten and Toni Morrison’s essay, Sites of Memory.

Davis’ work oscillates between various facets of portraiture and design. Using text as a point of departure, the artist explores the fundamental role that language has in shaping how we understand ourselves and the world around us. This manifests in a variety of forms including drawings, photographs and performances.

Recently Davis was commissioned by LA Metro to create work for the future Inglewood Station, slated to open in November of 2022. The work, Sonder, depicts community members photographed at gatherings at the artist’s Inglewood art studio and made into large porcelain enamel steel panels.

From Metro’s site

The photographs were hand painted with stamps incorporating letters that form the words defining the term “sonder.”

Davis was drawn to the term which alludes to the realization that every person has a unique and significant story. She hopes that the portraits inspire connections between strangers, even if only for a passing moment while waiting for the train.

(images below via LA Metro’s site)

For more images, information about the station, and a video of the artist discussing the work, check out Metro’s website.

 

Oct 112021
 

Happy Indigenous People’s Day! The work above, Because You Enter My House, It Becomes Our House, is by Choctaw-Cherokee artist Jeffrey Gibson. The sculpture was commissioned for Socrates Sculpture Park in New York, but is currently located at deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln, Massachusetts.

The deCordova website gives the following information about Gibson and the work-

Jeffrey Gibson weaves together his Choctaw-Cherokee heritage and queer identity into vibrantly patterned painting, sculpture, video, performance, and installation. Drawing on Indigenous process and materials and queer camp aesthetics, his artistry aims to transcend binary thinking and corrects nostalgic views of indigeneity. Merging styles and historical references, Gibson states, “I have continued to think about my practice as encompassing the past and present while considering the future.” Gibson often integrates phrases and words into his artwork, with language drawn from pop songs to activist slogans, to offer open-ended declarations of love, community, and liberation.

Standing over 40 feet wide and 20 feet tall at the entrance to deCordova’s Sculpture Park, Gibson’s Because Once You Enter My House, It Becomes Our House commands attention to its stepped form and psychedelic facade. Originally commissioned by Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City, this installation expands Gibson’s signature artistry and collaborative process to a monumental scale. He took inspiration from North American Indigenous history, as well as queer nightlife to create this monument advocating for Indigenous space and culture. The tri-layered form references the earthen forms of the ancient Mississippian city of Cahokia which flourished in the seventh through the fourteenth centuries before European contact.

The title, Because Once You Enter My House, It Becomes Our House, comes from the song “Can You Feel It” by Mr. Fingers (Larry Heard). Gibson evokes 80s and 90s-era house music and night clubs as they provided welcoming spaces for queer communities and people of color. Mr. Finger’s lyrics embrace intimacy, generosity, acceptance, and community. This installation echoes this broad communal ethos as Gibson invited fellow Indigenous artists–Eric-Paul Riege (Diné), Luzene Hill (Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians), and Dana Claxton (Hunkpapa Lakota)–to co-create the wheat-pasted posters covering the façade of the installation and stage performances on and around the ziggurat.

Oct 052021
 

Kim Anderson, “Alone Together”, 2021

Stereoscope for viewing the above painting

Skyway 20/21: A Contemporary Collaboration, is the second iteration of a joint exhibition across four institutions that highlights contemporary art created in the Central Florida region. Artists selected by a jury are from five counties- Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Manatee, and Sarasota. The exhibitions are an excellent sampling of the work being made in the Tampa Bay area.

The works shown in this post are from the exhibition at the Tampa Museum of Art. The museum has a video playlist on YouTube that includes all of the artists in the exhibition discussing their work. The links below are to the artists’ websites or those videos.

Selina Román “XS” 2019

For Selina Román’s XS series, she created abstract self portraits that examine standards of beauty in relation to expectations of weight and body. The title XS references an extra small size and alludes to the word excess.

This exhibition closes 10/10/21.

 

Sep 202021
 

Jake Troyli, “Shhh…this is the best part!”, 2018

Jake Troyli, “Shhh…this is the best part!”, 2018 (detail)

Jake Troyli, “Shhh…this is the best part!”, 2018 (detail)

Jake Troyli, “Shhh…this is the best part!”, 2018 (detail)

Skyway 20/21: A Contemporary Collaboration, is the second iteration of a joint exhibition across four institutions that highlights contemporary art created in the Central Florida region. Artists selected by a jury are from five counties- Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Manatee, and Sarasota. The exhibitions are an excellent sampling of the work being made in the Tampa Bay area.

The works shown in this post are from the exhibition at the The Ringling in Sarasota. I’ve included links for these artists as well as those not pictured.

Heather Rosenbach, “American Dream Byproduct”, 2018

Heather Rosenbach, “Class Warfare Shooting Star”, 2019

Eric Ondina, “Miss 911”, 2018

Eric Ondina, “Miss 911”, 2018 (detail)

Eric Ondina, “Palms”, 2020

Eric Ondina, “Keep the Change”, 2020

Ya Levy La’ford “American/Rōōts”, 2021

This exhibition closes 9/26/21.

 

Aug 142021
 

Casey McDonough “the immeasurability of this cosmological collider”, 2021

Casey McDonough “the immeasurability of this cosmological collider”, 2021 (detail)

Casey McDonough “the immeasurability of this cosmological collider”, 2021 (another view)

Skyway 20/21: A Contemporary Collaboration, is the second iteration of a joint exhibition across four institutions that highlights contemporary art created in the Central Florida region. Artists selected by a jury are from five counties- Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Manatee, and Sarasota. The exhibitions are an excellent sampling of the work being made in the Tampa Bay area.

The works shown in this post are from the exhibition at USF Contemporary Art Museum. I’ve included links for these artists as well as those not pictured.

Cynthia Mason, “Limp Grid with Arm”, 2021

Cynthia Mason, “Limp Pricks and Plants in Rising Water” 2021

Akiko Kotani, “Red Falls”, 2021

Akiko Kotani, “Red Falls”, 2021 (detail)

This exhibition closes 9/1/21.

 

Aug 132021
 

Dolores Coe “Perimeter”, 2019

Dolores Coe, “Borderland”, 2020

Dolores Coe, “Borderland”, 2020 (detail)

Skyway 20/21: A Contemporary Collaboration, is the second iteration of a joint exhibition across four institutions that highlights contemporary art created in the Central Florida region. Artists selected by a jury are from five counties- Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Manatee, and Sarasota. The exhibitions are an excellent sampling of the work being made in the Tampa Bay area.

The works shown in this post are from the exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg. I’ve included links for these artists as well as those not pictured.

Gabriel Ramos, “Mi Isla”, 2021

Gabriel Ramos, “Mi Isla”, 2021 (detail)

Savannah Magnolia, “Chemical Inhalation”, 2019

Savannah Magnolia “In Big Pharma We Trust”, 2019

Savannah Magnolia “In Big Pharma We Trust”, 2019 (detail)

Savannah Magnolia “In Big Pharma We Trust”, 2019 (detail)

Keith Crowley, “Rain Season”, 2019

Keith Crowley, “Nocturne”, 2020

Bassmi Ibrahim, “Awareness 41”

Bassmi Ibrahim, “Isness 158”

Bassmi Ibrahim, “Isness 158” (detail)

The exhibition at this location closes 8/22/21.

Aug 112021
 

Rapunzel, 2021

Fruity, 2021

Fee-fi-fo-fum, 2021

Good Hair, 2021

Lisson Gallery in New York is currently showing Hugh Hayden: Huey. This new body of work by Hayden “examines the American experience via agency, appearance, athletics and religion” and “interweaves symbols of the institutions that play key roles in an American upbringing with equally ever-present fairy tales to produce a new series of sculptures in wicker, vine, and ebony.”

More from the press release-

Hugh Hayden has previously examined the concept of the American Dream as well as the role historical foodways and dining traditions have played in shaping American identity. For Huey, the Texas-born artist chronicles and remixes his upbringing in the American South. Church, sport, school and hair are highlighted as Hayden probes the ingrained nature of cultural expectations. The exhibition is split into a trinity of rooms: a barber shop cum sanctuary, a basketball chapel and an ebony crypt, all of which harbor Hayden’s meticulously sculpted, sawed, sanded and woven objects.

The sanctuary features “Good Hair,” a new body of bristled wooden works that explore expectations of appearance and refinement in obligatory adolescent participation in athletics, education and religion. For Hayden the bristles render a subject simultaneously desirable yet uncomfortable, creating order via an abrasive action that, like the American Dream, is challenging and difficult to inhabit.

In the second chapel-like space hang woven basketball hoops out of hair, rattan and vine. The works are a childhood reimagination of the iconic peacock chairs the artist grew up with as well as an homage to the 1967 portrait of Black Panthers co-founder Huey P. Newton seated in one. The braided and woven works conflate tedious domestic handwork with hypermasculine athletics to materialize a queerness at odds with the fairy tale-like aspirations and reservations of becoming a professional athlete.

The final room of the exhibition is a meditation on agency, blackness and invisibility. Works sculpted from Gabon and Texas ebonies are presented in a daylight-lit, all-black room shifting in and out of visibility. Sculptures that reference the body, both moving fast as well as relaxing, offer an opportunity to reflect on the many hues of blackness.

This exhibition closes 8/13/21.