January 26 -April 28, 2019. Curated by Amanda Donnan.
Tschabalala Self’s work examines the intersectionality of race, gender, and sexuality, focusing particularly on the iconographic significance of the black female body in contemporary culture The artist creates exuberant, multilayered characters—not depictions of herself or others, but “avatars”—that resist reductive representations of blackness, performing their individual identities despite the voyeuristic fantasies of the spectator. These avatars are most often constructed from machine-sewn fabric scraps including velvet, denim, and animal prints, combined with cut-out portions of discarded canvases, and layered with acrylic paint, oil pastel, and charcoal. The specific associations attached to certain fabrics and patterns anchor Self's characters in reality, becoming a visual grammar through which new personalities and alternative narratives can be imagined.