Artist: Tschabalala Self
Exhibition title: Gut Feelings
Venue: Thierry Goldberg, New York, US
Date: October 14 – November 13, 2016
Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Thierry Goldberg, New York
Thierry Goldberg is pleased to present Gut Feelings, the second solo exhibition of Tschabalala Self. The show opens on October 14th with a reception from 6 to 8pm and will run through November 13th.
The collage-like work of Tschabalala Self examines the voyeurism and fantasies that surround the idea of feminine beauty. As concepts of blackness and femininity continually evolve, Self has dedicated herself to naming the phenomenon that forcibly frames our contemporary understanding of the black body in a collective fantasy.
About Gut Feelings, Self says, “The narrative is embedded within an intimate space. The relationship between instinct and intimacy is explored and moments of intense feeling and affect are highlighted. Hesitation to accept the unknown conflicts with my subjects’ desire to be known.”
Whether with another figure in the frame or an external onlooker, the women in Self’s paintings are unafraid and unmoved by the viewer’s gaze, confronting them with fixed stares of their own. Portraying the power of femininity via portraiture, these individuals radiate an internal strength, one that is both immediate and isolating.
Combining an array of patterned fabrics and painted canvas, Self constructs the female form in vivid ways. The series of intimate moments shows characters with elongated limbs, their bodies’ parts created from compelling clusters of materials. Creative acts are left unveiled; strands of thread twist through scenes, their looping paths often acting as textured borders rather than essential bindings.
The making substantiates the subject matter: by incorporating pieces of material from old paintings, prints, clothing, and paper, Self illustrates the countless influences, both past and present, that shape personal identity. Multiplicity and possibility are essential to her practice. The self isn’t fixed, but rather constantly being reassessed and reassembled. The people portrayed as fractured assemblages internalize a number of cultural projections, while asserting their own individual presence and significance.
Tschabalala Self (b. 1990, New York), currently lives and works in New York and New Haven. She holds an MFA from the Yale School of Art, and a BA from Bard College. Her work was recently included in “A Constellation” at the Studio Museum in Harlem (New York, NY) and in “A Shape That Stands Up” at the Hammer Museum (Los Angeles, CA). She has had solo shows at T293 (Naples, IT), The Cabin (Los Angeles, CA), Thierry Goldberg (New York, NY), and Schur-Narula (Berlin, DE), and has exhibited in group shows at Maccarone (New York, NY), Salon 94 (New York, NY), 11R (New York, NY), Roberts & Tilton (Los Angeles, CA), Kate Werble Gallery (New York, NY), and James Cohan Gallery (New York, NY), among others. She has upcoming solo exhibitions at Parasol Unit Foundation for Contemporary Art (London, UK) and Pillar Corrias Gallery (London, UK). Her work has been written about in The New Times, New York Magazine, and Artsy, among others.
Tschabalala Self, Chop, 2016
Painted canvas, flashe, acrylic, and colored pencil on canvas, 40 x 30 inches
Tschabalala Self, Untitled, 2016
Fabric, flashe, and acrylic paint on canvas, 48 x 48 inches
Tschabalala Self, Untitled, 2016
Fabric, flashe, and acrylic paint on canvas, 56 x 64 inches
Tschabalala Self, Bellyphat, 2016
Painted canvas, fabric, oil, acrylic, and flashe on canvas, 80 x 60 inches
Tschabalala Self, Butterfly, 2016
Painted canvas, flashe, and acrylic, on canvas, 30 x 44 inches
Tschabalala Self, Swim, 2016
Fabric, flashe, and acrylic paint on canvas, 84 x 80 inches
Tschabalala Self, Thigh, 2016
Painted canvas, fabric, oil, acrylic, and flashe on canvas, 48 x 72 inches
Tschabalala Self, Turnt, 2016
Printed canvas, flashe, and colored pencil on canvas, 44 x 30 inches