b. 1982, Venezuela

Alvaro Barrington Biography

Alvaro Barrington's multidisciplinary practice seeks to engage with the cultural exchanges and socio-political context of growing up between the Caribbean and Brooklyn in the 1980s and 90s.

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Early Years

Born in Venezuela to a Grenadian mother and Haitian father, Barrington moved to Brooklyn, New York in 1990, where he was raised by his mother and a close network of relatives.

Barrington received his MFA from London's Slade School of Art in 2017. That same year, MoMA PS1, New York hosted his first solo museum exhibition.

Artworks

Formative Years in Grenada

The materials, motifs, and techniques employed in Barrington's works have their roots in the varied life experiences and cultural engagements of his years growing up in Grenada.

He builds his canvases using burlap, a material used in Caribbean cacao production, while his employment of stitched yarn throughout his work references the craft traditions of the region, as seen in When I was just trying to feed my daughter / Coogi (2021) and The Musician's chains / Soul (2021), among others.

The Harlem Renaissance to 1990s Hip-Hop Culture

Socio-political and cultural phenomena of New York, including the Harlem Renaissance, hip-hop culture, and the city's downtown architecture, feature heavily in Barrington's work. His use of rich colour and the physicality of his technique are additionally gleaned from Abstract Expressionism, a movement that came to the fore in mid-century New York.

His 2021 solo exhibition at Thaddeaus Ropac embodied the breadth of his lived experience in a new series of painting and textile works, including works such as Em reclining sofa bed w/ Burberry pillow (2021) and Compass Pose [Deanna] (2021).

His mixed media on burlap work The Bather Rio/Ro/St (2021), featuring a silhouette of R&B singer Rihanna and titled after the modernist icons Mark Rothko ('Ro') and Clyfford Still ('St'), is a testament to Barrington's unique idiom.

Gallery Representation

Barrington has been praised for his unconventional approach to artist and gallery relations. Alongside representation from Brussels-based Mendes Wood DM and L.A.-based galleries KARMA and Blum & Poe, the artist has collaborative representation with four top London-based galleries including Thaddeaus Ropac, Emalin, Sadie Coles HQ, and Corvi-Mora.

In 2021 alone, the artist received five solo exhibitions, showing at The Tabernacle, London; Sadie Coles HQ, London; Emalin, London; Thaddeaus Ropac, Paris; and Nicola Vassell Gallery, New York.

In October 2021, Alvaro Barrington: Spider the Pig, Pig the Spider opened at South London Gallery, the artist's first solo exhibition in a U.K. institution.

In continuing his play on the connections between historic and contemporary cultural references, the exhibition featured a group of paintings emblazoned with printed and digitally rendered images from the children's cartoon Peppa Pig and George Orwell's Animal Farm (1945). A series of concrete-smeared Hermès blankets hung above, in reference to the cloud paintings of British landscape painters J.M.W. Turner and John Constable.

Exhibitions

Alvaro Barrington's solo exhibitions include Alvaro Barrington: GARVEY 1: BIRTH – The Quiet Storm, Nicola Vassell, New York (2021); Wave Your Flags II, Sadie Coles HQ, London (2021); Wave Your Flags, Tabernacle, London (2021); My Words Will Live Forever – Fuck My Name, Emalin, London (2021); Garvey 2 – They eyes were watching God, Corvi-Mora, London (2020); Garvey: Sex Love Nurturing Famalay, Sadie Coles HQ, London (2019); A Taste of Chocolate, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, London (2018); Alvaro Barrington, MoMA PS1, New York (2017).

Alvaro Barrington's group exhibitions include Mixing It Up: Painting Today, Hayward Gallery, London (2021); The Earth, That is Sufficient, Nicola Vassell, New York (2021); 30 Years in Paris, Thaddeaus Ropac, Paris (2020); A Focus on Painting, Thaddaeus Ropac, London (2020); after image, MAMOTH, London (2020); Landscapes of the South, Mendes Wood DM, New York (2020); No horizon, no edge to liquid, Zabludowicz Collection, London (2020); Drawing 2020, Gladstone, New York (2020); Tt x AB: Tall Boys & A Double Shot Espresso, Emalin, London (2019); Artists I Steal From, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, London (2019); Natura Naturans, Mendes Wood DM, New York (2018); Hog's Curve, Halsey McKay Gallery, East Hampton, (2018); and Woven, Rental Gallery, East Hampton (2017), among others.

Website and Instagram

Alvaro Barrington's website can be found here, and his Instagram can be found here.

Annabel Downes | Ocula | 2021

Alvaro Barrington Featured Artworks

View All (16)
1 o'clock by Alvaro Barrington contemporary artwork sculpture
Alvaro Barrington 1 o'clock, 2022 Cardboard in steel frame and drawing in steel frame, two parts
Blum & Poe Contact Gallery
Here Comes the Boom by Alvaro Barrington contemporary artwork painting, works on paper, sculpture
Alvaro Barrington Here Comes the Boom, 2022 Acrylic, enamel, and sand on canvas and burlap in a painted wood frame
191.1 x 212.1 x 8.3 cm
Blum & Poe Contact Gallery
The Rose That Grew from Concrete: Sculpture 2 LA by Alvaro Barrington contemporary artwork painting, works on paper, sculpture, drawing
Alvaro Barrington The Rose That Grew from Concrete: Sculpture 2 LA, 2022 Charcoal and acrylic on paper on cardboard in steel and concrete frame on soil covered plinth
204.5 x 80 x 77.5 cm
Blum & Poe Contact Gallery
The women who mourn him featuring Ariel Cumberbatch by Alvaro Barrington contemporary artwork painting, works on paper, sculpture, drawing
Alvaro Barrington The women who mourn him featuring Ariel Cumberbatch, 2022 Concrete and charcoal on paper and plastic nails on cardboard on wooden panel
234.3 x 234.3 x 7 cm
Blum & Poe Contact Gallery
0-1981 by Alvaro Barrington contemporary artwork painting
Alvaro Barrington 0-1981, 2020 Mixed media on burlap paper in artist frame
14 x 11 inches
Karma Contact Gallery
0-1980 by Alvaro Barrington contemporary artwork painting
Alvaro Barrington 0-1980, 2020 Mixed media on burlap paper in artist frame
14 x 11 inches
Karma Contact Gallery
1956-2006 by Alvaro Barrington contemporary artwork painting
Alvaro Barrington 1956-2006, 2020 Mixed media on burlap paper in artist frame
11 x 14 inches
Karma Contact Gallery
Yellow Hibiscus Red Stem by Alvaro Barrington contemporary artwork painting
Alvaro Barrington Yellow Hibiscus Red Stem, 2019 Oil on banana paper
75.9 x 55.1 cm
JARILAGER Gallery Enquire

Alvaro Barrington Recent Exhibitions

View All (6)

Alvaro Barrington Represented By

Blum & Poe contemporary art gallery in Tokyo, Japan
Blum & Poe Los Angeles, New York, Tokyo
Karma contemporary art gallery in 188 E 2nd Street, New York, USA
Karma New York
Mendes Wood DM contemporary art gallery in São Paulo, Brazil
Mendes Wood DM Brussels, New York, São Paulo

Alvaro Barrington In Ocula Magazine

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