NEW YORK, NY.-
The Pattern of Patience is an exhibition that brings together ten artists from diverse cultural backgrounds whose works evoke topics of gender, race, and class in the face of social inequality in a global economy that favors only a few. Technology and greed have become the major forces behind today's political arena, and yet the labor and cultural production the participating artists work in embraces tradition, personal histories and experience to better understand the construction of a contemporary identity that has lost patience with the status quo.
Teresa Lancetas textile works serve as a metaphor for the current and historical dynamic that exists between Spain and the African continent. Lanceta spent time in Morocco learning textile techniques that she incorporates into her beautiful geometric abstractions. Nyugen Smith blends his Caribbean heritage with growing up in Newark, NJ to reference the black experience in The United States. Multiple elements in Smith's mixed media floor installation confront the viewer and reference a fragmented history that needs to be reconstructed. Marie Watts bead works use text to bring attention to her communitys needs. Watt is a member of the Seneca Nation, learning the craft from her mother who also learned it from hers, passing on the tradition. Hellen Ascoli uses weaving in collaboration with indigenous groups in Guatemala as the core of her work to bring attention to the cultural and social-political significance of those groups in the Central American region.
Tamar Ettun incorporates fabric, sculpture, and ceramics into visceral performance based installations that use the body as a point of reference. The viewer must confront the complex and latent and explicit violence of the political reality in the Middle East.
Ignacio Gatica brings attention to the uprisings in Chile and the U.S. in a photo installation that juxtaposes the boarded storefronts in both countries. Alicia Henry's wall installation emphasizes the tradition of American portraiture and racial stereotypes. Henry appropriates southern cultural motifs to elevate and honor her personal history. She raises above it to become the protagonist in control of the story. Jose Luis Martinat uses discarded packing materials from agricultural and other industries in Peru to talk about global economies. Martinat uses gold threads to make embroidery on such materials, elevating these banners to a religious experience.
STUDIO LENCA reflects on ideas of difference, knowledge, and visibility through portraiture and installations. His work centers around the history and culture of El Salvador, as well as the queer experience. He often employs Salvadoreño iconography to address contemporary issues of the art world and beyond.
Renee Stout objects and paintings address the Hoodoo culture and conjuring still very extant in parts of the US Southeast with roots in the African continent and its metamorphosis through slavery in the US to the present. Device for Stopping the Evil Eye is an apt title for a very old small, rusted metal mechanical device of unknown origin with a mirror now repurposed to keep away evil spirits.
The Pattern of Patience change comes slowly and at best unevenly. These artists all underscore their hopes and dreams and how will the 21st century progress? Will we adequately attend to global warming, to crippling wealth disparity, to a resurgence of anti-democratic autocracies? Each artist sees beauty in their cultures that need to be valued and safeguarded.