Self-trained artist Chase Hall confronts the generational traumas of America's racial history and the realities of his biracial identity through a practice spanning sculpture, photography, video, and, most notably, figurative paintings.Read More
With no formal artistic training, Hall educated himself by using canvases and paints that had been discarded by students at New York University.
Chase Hall's multidisciplinary practice seeks to explore the hybridity of the Black experience based on his own upbringing, navigating his identity as a biracial individual in America.
Whilst Hall works across sculpture, photography, and video, he is best known for his energetic figurative paintings rendered in acrylic and coffee pigment on cotton canvas. Foregrounding acts of labour or images of community, Hall's paintings are filled with individuals such as jazz musicians or farmers going about their daily lives.
His use of cotton canvas and coffee beans is integral to his conceptual treatment of Blackness in his practice. Both agrarian materials, cotton and coffee are notable for their role in perpetuating modern racial trauma, while the tonal contrast between the two materials alludes to the hybridity of race.
Hall's use of coffee as a pigment is one of the most unique aspects of his practice and featured heavily in the exhibition, titled Clouds in My Coffee. Producing almost alchemical results, Hall uses varying levels of coarseness and fineness in the grounds of the bean to achieve a broad spectrum of browns in his backgrounds.
Made by first pouring and then painting the coffee over the white cotton canvas in dappled brushstrokes, Hall's paintings—including Early Bird (2021), Jarvis and the Goldfish (2021), and Spelling Bee (Eureka) (2022)—celebrate the beauty of tonal differences and the hybrid nature of race across society today.
Introducing Hall's practice for his European debut, Ocula Advisory remarked, 'Hall gracefully depicts individuals and groups going about their daily lives, foregrounding acts of labour in some instances, whilst in others exploring images of community or leisure.'
Hall has participated in numerous residency programmes in the U.S., including at the Silver Arts Project, New York in 2021, the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams in 2020, and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2019.
Chase Hall has been the subject of the solo exhibitions Aleczander, C L E A R I N G, New York (2021); and Half Note, Monique Meloche, Chicago (2020). Group exhibitions include Black American Portraits, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) (2021); Young, Gifted, and Black, University of Illinois, Champaign (2021); Rested, Nicola Vassell Gallery, New York (2021); Often Vary Never Change, C L E A R I N G, New York (2021); Élan Vital, MoCA Westport, Norwalk (2021); This Is America | Art USA Today, Kunsthal KAdE, Amersfoort (2020); Show Me The Signs, Blum & Poe, Los Angeles (2020); Art On The Grid, Public Art Fund, New York (2020); Life Still, C L E A R I N G, New York (2020); Next of Kin, Various Small Fires, Seoul (2020); and Now & Then, Jenkins Johnson Projects, New York (2019).
Hall's work is held in numerous public and private collections, including the family collections of Beth Rudin De Woody, Rebecca and Martin Eisenberg, and the Rubell Family, among others.
His work is also held in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Baltimore Museum of Art; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, among others.
Annabel Downes | Ocula | 2022
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