This exhibition took place at our previous East Hampton location.
Marianne Boesky Gallery and Goodman Gallery are pleased to announce Fragile Crossings, a pair of jointly organised exhibitions opening this summer in New York City and London. The first iteration will open in Marianne Boesky's New York space June 23; its counterpart will open at Goodman Gallery's London Space July 21. Artists include Ghada Amer, Sanford Biggers, Allison Janae Hamilton, and Serge Alain Nitegeka from Marianne Boesky Gallery's program, and works by ruby onyinyechi amanze, Carlos Garaicoa, Kapwani Kiwanga, and Misheck Masamvu from Goodman Gallery's roster. This is the two galleries' second major collaboration following a pop-up exhibition in the Miami Design District in December 2020.
The exhibition's central concern is the fragility of the human condition in light of global instability, reflecting both galleries' interest in foregrounding artists who address critical issues of migration, social justice, and environmental responsibility. In Fragile Crossings, artists from each gallery's program address the question of humanity's existential fragility in a variety of mediums, reflecting a wide range of material and conceptual approaches.
Works on view span sculpture, installation, film, and painting, and share an engagement with themes of Black migrations and their constituent ecosystems. Serge Alain Nitegeka's narrative painting Identity is Fragile IV (2021) juxtaposes representational and abstract elements to embody the psychological and physical weight that results from forced migration. The theme of forced migration reappears in a transatlantic context in Sanford Biggers's Codex series. By repurposing antique quilts–which, according to oral tradition, were used as a coded signal system on the Underground Railroad–Biggers simultaneously evokes both the original forced migration of the Atlantic crossing, and the countervailing movements enslaved people made for their own liberation. In the newly commissioned 2022 installation A House Called Florida (on view in A Movement in Every Direction: Legacies of the Great Migration at the Mississippi Museum of Art), Allison Janae Hamilton deploys film stills to capture narratives and visual landscapes of southern Black communities in the context of global warming, emphasising the ecological consequences of migration.
In contrast to the socially and materially constructed phenomena that ground Nitegeka's, Biggers's, and Hamilton's work, Misheck Masamvu investigates human existence as it relates to the natural world. His large-scale painting Pink Gorillas in Hell are Gods (2019) exemplifies the tension between abstraction and figuration, order and chaos. Similarly, in Kapwani Kiwanga's Semence (2020), the sometimes violent collisions between natural and social worlds emerge in the form of a monumental installation of hundreds of delicate ceramic rice grains that speaks to the history of the transatlantic slave trade and the implications of colonial systems on contemporary society. ruby onyinyechi amanze's fold water and fly on land / BIKE + SWIMMING POOLS (2022) is comprised of fragile materials layered with paper, acrylics, and varnishes to create weight and thickness, building a palimpsest of elemental and character-driven narratives. Similarly, in Sin título (Árbol) / Untitled (Tree) (2021), Carlos Garaicoa fuses photographs, drawings, and mixed media to examine architecture and urbanism as mirrors of Cuba's social development and political realities. Ghada Amer's ceramic sculptures depicting women engage with fragility in content as well as form. Ceramic is a deceptively sturdy material despite being considered fragile––Ancient Greeks used ceramic vessels not only for imbibing, but for storage and transport. The ambiguity of the material, together with her representation of female figures, underscores Amer's career-long questioning of preconceived notions and expectations of women and the construction of femininity. In this way, Amer elucidates the complex and shifting meanings and perceptions of what it means to be fragile.
Ultimately, the interplays between ecological and interpersonal displacement, between material form and historical narrative, and the lingering tension between unity and isolation weave through each work in Fragile Crossings. Together, the works offer an urgent and holistic look at the state of fragility––and at the possibility for resilience that it offers.
Press release courtesy Goodman Gallery.
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