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b. 1979, Bahamas

Tavares Strachan Biography

In his collaborative and interdisciplinary practice that conjoins art and science, Tavares Strachan leads an investigation into the hierarchical forces responsible for the production of cultural knowledge. Strachan is most recognised for his ongoing Encyclopedia of Invisibility: a research-driven compendium that documents people, places, concepts, artworks, scientific phenomena and objects forgotten from official histories.

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A key figure in Tavares Strachaan's artwork is Matthew Henson: an African American explorer who journeyed to the North Pole with Robert Peary. While Henson was the first to reach the North Pole in their 1909 expedition, his endeavours were shadowed by Peary's. Polar Eclipse (2013)—presented at The Bahamas' National Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale—featured a re-enactment of Henson's voyage in a 14-hour video, exhibited alongside other works including two preserved blocks of ice.

The story of Robert Henry Lawrence Jr.—the first African American astronaut and a United States Air Force pilot—has also inspired several Strachan works. In 2018, the artist collaborated with the LACMA Art + Technology Lab to launch ENOCH: a satellite containing a golden bust of Lawrence. In the following year, Strachan presented a neon skeleton of Lawrence's body titled Robert (2018) in the 58th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale.

The sculpture The Encyclopedia of Invisibility—Tavares Strachan's contribution to the 57th Carnegie International (2018)—drew from the artist's larger Encyclopedia of Invisibility project. The installation presented 54 neon texts across the Carnegie Museum of Art's facade, spelling names largely left out of history books, including Baroque painter Artemisia Gentileschi and Chinese revolutionary and feminist Qiu Jin. Placing them next to those etched into the museum's stone, the artist revealed the mechanics of remembrance and erasure in a society that favours the white Euro-American male.

For Desert X 2017, Tavares Strachan presented another monumental neon sculpture, scattering neon tubes in the deserts of Palm Springs, California to spell 'I Am' from a distance. In the accompanying statement, the artist described the desert as a place for human beings 'to disconnect and reconnect with questions about who they might be.' In 2020, he also installed the pink neon words, 'We are in this together', under a mountain gondola lift in Telluride, Colorado, popular with both tourists and locals.

In Plain Sight—Strachan's solo exhibition at Marian Goodman Gallery London in 2020—featured 'Distant Relatives' (2020): a group of plaster busts that combine portraits of African American figures from Strachan's research with tribal masks of Africa and Papua New Guinea. The busts included writer James Baldwin and musician Nina Simone, and lesser known figures like Andrea Motley Crabtree—the first woman to qualify for deep sea diving in the United States Army.

Tavares Strachan Solo Exhibitions include:

Invisibles, Regen Projects, Los Angeles (2018); The Other Side of the sun, Mestre Projects, Nassau, The Bahamas (2018); You Belong Here, Prospect.3, New Orleans (2014); Here and Now, Dvir Gallery, Tel Aviv (2012).

Tavares Strachan Group Exhibitions include:

Soft Power, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2019); Solidary & Solitary: The Joyner/Giuffrida Collection, Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans (2017); False Narratives, Pierogi Gallery, New York (2016); Bringing the World into the World, Queens Museum, New York (2014).

Sherry Paik | Ocula | 2020

Tavares Strachan Featured Artworks

View All (11)
January 1st by Tavares Strachan contemporary artwork
Tavares StrachanJanuary 1st, 2020Oil, enamel, and pigment on acrylic
91.4 x 91.4 x 5.1 cm
Marian Goodman Gallery Contact Gallery
Family by Tavares Strachan contemporary artwork
Tavares StrachanFamily, 2019Oil, enamel, and pigment on Mylar
152.4 x 172.7 x 5.1 cm
Almine Rech Contact Gallery
Before the Fire by Tavares Strachan contemporary artwork
Tavares StrachanBefore the Fire, 20202 panels; oil enamel, and pigment on acrylic
243.8 x 243.8 x 5.1 cm
Marian Goodman Gallery Contact Gallery
We Are in This Together (Multi) by Tavares Strachan contemporary artwork
Tavares StrachanWe Are in This Together (Multi), 2019Cobalt, super blue, sky blue, traffic light green, green, clear gold neon, transformers
16 x 73 inches
Marian Goodman Gallery Contact Gallery
We Are In This Together (Silkscreen) by Tavares Strachan contemporary artwork
Tavares StrachanWe Are In This Together (Silkscreen), 2020Pigment on moab paper
24 x 36 inches
Marian Goodman Gallery Contact Gallery
Gameboy by Tavares Strachan contemporary artwork
Tavares StrachanGameboy, 2019Digital silkscreen and paint on acrylic
36 x 36 x 2 inches
Marian Goodman Gallery Contact Gallery
Matthew by Tavares Strachan contemporary artwork
Tavares StrachanMatthew, 2012Plexiglas, digital pigment print with collage and drawing
81 x 61 x 2 inches
Beyer Projects Contact Gallery
Me and You (North Pole Ice and Cloned North Pole Ice) by Tavares Strachan contemporary artwork
Tavares StrachanMe and You (North Pole Ice and Cloned North Pole Ice), 2013Ice, fabricated ice, two glass and steel freezer units
50.75 x 29.5 x 24.5 inches
Beyer Projects Contact Gallery

Tavares Strachan Recent Exhibitions

Contemporary art exhibition, Tavares Strachan, In Plain Sight at Marian Goodman Gallery, London
Closed
8 September–24 October 2020 Tavares Strachan In Plain Sight Marian Goodman GalleryLondon

Tavares Strachan Represented By

Beyer Projects contemporary art gallery in New York, USA Beyer Projects New York
Marian Goodman Gallery contemporary art gallery in New York, USA Marian Goodman Gallery New York, Paris, London

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