Gagosian New York to Current New Work by Alexandria Smith in Her First Solo Exhibition with the Gallery – Sugarcane Journal ™

Faux Gravitas and Dream Aborted Givens Opens April 28, 2022


Gagosian is happy to current Faux Gravitas and Dream Aborted Givens, an exhibition of latest works by Alexandria Smith at its Park & 75 location. Organized by Antwaun Sargent, that is Smith’s first solo exhibition with the gallery.

In Faux Gravitas and Dream Aborted Givens, Smith continues her investigation of selfhood alongside the confidences, contradictions, and uncertainties of the queer Black femme physique by allegorical assemblage work and collage drawings housed within the artist’s customized frames.

Smith’s mixed-media works start with drawings, which she develops intuitively inside an ever- evolving private cosmology. Atop colourful preparations of daring shapes, she layers sculpted parts of painted wooden and polymer clay that emerge past the image aircraft, impressed by the pioneering assemblage artist Betye Saar, Black womanist literature, science fiction, and album artwork of the Sixties and ’70s.

Theatrical and metaphysical, the work and drawings incorporate forces of creation, destruction, and transmutation throughout interconnected planes of existence. Doorways and home windows hyperlink proscenium arches, paneled partitions, columns, and different architectural parts with primordial and celestial landscapes composed of vibrant pigments, glitter, and three-dimensional varieties that start to increase out into the viewer’s house. Dueling elemental forces occupy these scenes within the types of billowing clouds, rising tendrils, erupting volcanoes, and cleaning waves. Smith’s hybrid figures are additionally in fixed flux as polymorphic amalgams of physique components; ambiguously gendered, they stretch, divide, and redouble inside the compositions. Flanking the margins of those utopian areas and melding with them, her protagonists bear witness and take motion, embodying transformation and progress.

Smith explains: “This work is a show of futurist pondering, imagining different worlds not tethered to the previous or current, through which magic, tenderness, and liberation occur. Since we don’t really feel in a linear trend, why can’t that idea manifest in one other world, translating real-life experiences into an imagined panorama that welcomes hybridity and distinction? What would possibly it appear like to conjure a dream inside this painted realm?”

The title Faux Gravitas and Dream Aborted Givens is impressed by a 2011 essay by Smith’s mentor, the late author Greg Tate, and is meant as a tribute to him. On this essay, Tate wrote that Smith’s characters appear to “determine completely with the necessity for all ghosts, freaks, and spooks to make peace with the on a regular basis realms of the mundane and the quotidian. The unmagic realism of all of it. The ghost world of grownfolks with its uninteresting grey-areas, fake gravitas, and dream-aborting givens.”

Smith will create an immersive multimedia setting entitled Memoirs of a Ghost Girlhood: a Black Lady’s Window on the Currier Museum of Artwork in Manchester, New Hampshire, opening on June 30, 2022.

Alexandria Smith was born within the Bronx, New York, in 1981 and lives and works in New York and London. Exhibitions embrace All the Ladies in Me…, Levitt Gallery, College of Iowa, Iowa Metropolis (2016); Attempt a Little Tenderness, The Union for Modern Artwork, Omaha, NE (2017); A Litany for Survival, Boston College (2018); Of Water and Spirit, Hallwalls Modern Arts Heart, Buffalo, NY (2019); Monuments to an Effigy, Queens Museum, New York (2019); and Seeds to Harvest, Davis Museum, Wellesley Faculty, MA (2019–22). Smith is head of the portray program on the Royal Faculty of Artwork, London, and from 2017 by 2018 she served as co-organizer of the collective Black Ladies Artists for Black Lives.


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