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Marianne Boesky Gallery now represents Allison Janae Hamilton
Allison Janae Hamilton, Floridawater II, 2019. Copyright Allison Janae Hamilton, Photo Credit: Jason Wyche, Courtesy of the artist and Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York and Aspen.

NEW YORK, NY.- Marianne Boesky Gallery announces representation of artist Allison Janae Hamilton, whose multidisciplinary work engages with the histories, mythologies, and physical transformations of land, especially in the American South, to examine some of the most pressing socio-economic and political issues of the day. A selection of her work was included in the gallery’s summer exhibition in Aspen, Tricknology, which was curated by Sanford Biggers. To mark the new relationship, the gallery will include Hamilton as part of its presentation at Art Basel Miami Beach, where she is also slated to participate in an Art Basel Conversation on Saturday, December 7, titled Confronting Climate Change Denial. This will be followed by a solo exhibition of Hamilton’s work at one of the gallery’s Chelsea locations in fall 2020.

Hamilton’s practice embraces photography, video, sculpture, and installation, and incorporates materials and motifs from a wide range of sources. Natural materials, such as reclaimed wood, leathers, and found animal hides, are combined with man-made objects like textiles and masks, and then further layered with images and sounds that suggest different, often rural, environments. Reassembled together, these seemingly disparate components reveal the intricate, often unseen, relationships between the physicality of land and the lived experience it carries. In this way, Hamilton subverts traditional notions of the landscape as a backdrop and instead transforms it into a critical lens through which to examine power, class, race, identity, migration, and environmental decay.

Her commitment to the land is driven by her own migrations, from Kentucky, where she was born, to Florida, where she grew up, to rural Tennessee, where she spent time on her maternal family’s farm, and to New York, where she currently lives. Her intimacy with these spaces has provided her with a deep understanding of the complexity of place, informed by familial and personal experience, passed folklore and histories, and through a study of the devastation wrought by natural and man-made disasters. Of her work, she has said, “Place is the center of my practice, particularly the land itself. I’m always thinking about the actual materials of land as a storyteller. For me, the work is not about the South; it’s about looking at the land as a way to try to understand where we are now.”

Over the last several years, Hamilton’s work has focused in particular on southern coastal waterways, with her research exposing the devastating history of the turpentine industry as well as the water’s connections to slave labor and to the process and impact of contemporary pollution. Her work on these subjects has been shown in a wide range of exhibitions, including in her first solo museum presentation at MASS MoCA in 2018 and in group presentations at MoMA PS1 and Storm King. In addition to her ongoing study of waterways, Hamilton is developing her work with found fencing masks, which she transforms with studs, feathers, and other objects. For Hamilton, these pieces speak to the many battles that have been fought over land—the power dynamics that drive these conflicts and the people that have been most afflicted by them. Her latest fencing masks will be presented at Marianne Boesky Gallery’s booth at Art Basel Miami Beach. Hamilton’s approach to her practice is additive, with each work building on the next to create a complex and ongoing narrative that weaves history together with contemporary experience and gives particular importance and immediacy to under-served and hidden communities.

“Allison’s work is so poignant in its address of deeply complicated and nuanced issues. It connects the dots in a way that enriches the dialogue and provides a fresh perspective on matters critical to social, political, and economic progress. At the same time, it is aesthetically and formally innovative and compelling. There is a beauty to it that sometimes belies the difficult subject matter with which she is often dealing,” said Marianne Boesky. “We are excited to bring Allison into our program and to help expand engagement with her dynamic vision and practice.”

Allison Janae Hamilton (b. 1984) has exhibited widely across the U.S. and abroad. Her work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA), North Adams, MA (2018); and Atlanta Contemporary, Atlanta, GA (2018). She has further been featured in group presentations at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC; the Studio Museum in Harlem, MoMA PS1, Long Island City, NY; Storm King Art Center, New Winsor, NY; the Jewish Museum, New York, NY; and the Istanbul Design Biennial, Istanbul, Turkey. Hamilton has also participated in a range of fellowships and residencies, including with the Whitney Independent Study Program, New York, NY; Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY; and Fundación Botín; Santander, Spain. She is the recipient of the Creative Capital Award and the Rema Hort Mann Foundation Grant. Hamilton holds a PhD in American Studies from New York University and an MFA in Visual Arts from Columbia University. She lives and works in New York.

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