Goodman Gallery East Hampton is pleased to present Panthea, an exhibition of works on paper by Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum. It marks Sunstrum's first solo exhibition with Goodman in the United States, following her participation in Born in Flames: Feminist Futures (currently on view at the Bronx Museum in New York.) Panthea will be open from June 9th–20th, 2021.
The exhibition is the first of a series of solo presentations by Goodman Gallery this summer with most being the artist's debut in the United States.
The show focuses on Sunstrum's drawings, a cornerstone of her multidisciplinary practice which consists of painting, installation and animation. Bringing together a selection of early mixed-media drawings, Panthea is a continuation of the unfolding story of Sunstrum's alter ego Asme, accompanied by her sidekick character, the goose.
The exhibition title takes as its reference point a series drawings by the artist, inspired by divine geometry inscribed within 'Platonic Solids'—named after the philosopher Plato, who wrote extensively about regular, convex polyhedrons in relation to the three elements of earth: air, water, and fire. Through this work, Sunstrum superimposes multiple versions of the human figure with geometric forms, experimenting with scale and movement. Furthermore, Panthea, translates as 'all the Gods' in Greek and serves as an apt description of Sunstrum's larger practice which seeks to explore and to validate all forms of knowledge. In doing so, she flattens the hierarchies between science and mysticism, fact and allegory, past and future, bringing 'all the Gods' into conversation.
Through her multilayered approach, Panthea explores the relationality of space and the body. A single body, Asme, embodies masses of bodies thereby conveying an unfixed and evolving connection with selfhood and community.
'My single body is a representative of masses of bodies—whether as community or as ancestry or as collective history or collective memory, of solidarity—it is this idea that each body can carry many, many bodies; many histories. It is a futuristic and very decidedly African philosophy. I make reference to this kind of plurality or multiplicity in my work, the idea of the one standing with, or for, the many.'—Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum, 2020, Studio InternationalInterview.
About the artist
Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum's (b. 1980, Mochudi, Botswana) multi-disciplinary practice encompasses drawing, painting, installation and animation. Her work alludes to mythology, geology and theories on the nature of the universe. Sunstrum's drawings take the form of narrative landscapes that appear simultaneously futuristic and ancient, shifting between representational and fantastical depictions of volcanic, subterranean, cosmological and precipitous landscapes.
One of Sunstrum's most notable projects in London came in the form of a 2018 mural which wrapped around the exterior of The Showroom in London. The work was dedicated to South African novelist Bessie Head and formed part of the exhibition titled Women on Aeroplanes, curated by The Otolith Group, Emily Pethick, and Elvira Dyangani Ose. Upcoming projects include a group exhibition at MoCA Toronto opening in 2021.
Key exhibitions and performances thus far include: Battlecry, Goodman Gallery, London (2020); All my seven faces, Contemporary Art Center, Cincinnati, OH, USA (2019); Zeitz MoCAA, Cape Town, South Africa; The Wiels, Brussels, Belgium (2019); Kunsthaus Zürich (2019); The Nest, The Hague (2019); Michaelis School for the Arts at the University of Cape Town (2018); Artpace, San Antonio, TX, USA (2018); The Phillips Museum of Arts, Lancaster (2018); Interlochen Centre for the Arts, Interlochen (2016); NMMU Bird Street Art Gallery, Port Elizabeth (2016); VANSA, Johannesburg (2015); FRAC Pays de Loire, France (2013); the Havana Biennial (2012); and MoCADA, New York (20
Press release courtesy Goodman Gallery.