Conjuring Wholeness in the Wake of Rupture
The artists in this show use cultural memory, the body, the Black imagination, and cosmology as radical tools of self-identification, protection, and care. The works on view center new narratives and unfamiliar histories, and reveal hidden stories that eschew Western, heteronormative authority and disruption. The artists create complex and visceral environments to confront stereotypes and rigid beliefs systems. They reject alienation and separation, and embrace the universality of Blackness through the inventive use of materials, familiar forms, mythical figures, and vibrant colors.
Conjuring Wholeness in the Wake of Rupture presents an exciting roster of contemporary artists including Amani Lewis, whose fresh work challenges societal perceptions of Baltimore through a layered digital process; Sharif Bey, whose ceramic sculptures explore the cultural significance of ornamentation; Marielle Plaisir, whose imaginative paintings critique prejudice though her reconstructed worlds; Dominic Chambers, whose large scale paintings reference literary narratives cited in literature and African-American history; Osi Audu, whose self-portraits explore the dualism of the mind/body relation; Rashaad Newsome, whose stunning collages contemplate and question distorted notions of power; Tajh Rust, whose environmental portraits explore the relationships between black identity and space; Stephen Towns, whose lush depictions of the African Diaspora speak to constructs of race and its effects on society; and Devan Shimoyama, whose work showcases the relationship between celebration and silence in queer culture and sexuality through depictions of the black queer male body.
Kilolo Luckett is an art historian, curator, and cultural producer, with over twenty years of experience in arts administration and cultural production. She is currently acting curator for Visual Arts at the August Wilson Cultural Center in Pittsburgh, and serves as an Art Commissioner for the City of Pittsburgh’s Art Commission.