Awol Erizku now represented by Sean Kelly

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Awol Erizku now represented by Sean Kelly
Photo by Michael Tyrone Delaney for the New York Times, 2022.

NEW YORK, NY.- Awol Erizku’s multi-disciplinary practice encompasses photography, sculpture, painting, and installation to shape a visual language which operates at the intersection of image making and a wider cultural context. Utilizing visual language from African and Black American cultures, Erizku’s work rejects Eurocentric notions of beauty and art history in favor of building his own unique Afrocentric aesthetic, one he refers to as “Afro-esotericism.” Rather than convey any singular entity or narrative, he explores the intersections of ancient mythology, diasporic tradition, and contemporary culture, through his symbolic constellation of images spanning a diverse breadth of media. Often incorporating hip-hop and Trap vernaculars as a springboard for making new connections and meanings, Erizku draws on multiple aesthetic sources including African art, assemblage, realism, conceptual art, and performance. By taking an all-encompassing approach to object and experience making, Erizku weaves alternate narratives that interrogate art history, philosophy, linguistics, and artistic inclusion. On joining the gallery Erizku said, “I’m incredibly excited to work with Sean Kelly and his diverse gallery program.”

Sean Kelly states, “We purchased our first piece by Awol Erizku many years ago for our family collection when he was a student at Cooper Union. We have been close to him and followed his career attentively since that time. We are delighted to welcome him to the gallery and to represent his powerful, engaging, and thought-provoking body of work.”

Born in Gondar, Ethiopia, Erizku attended The Cooper Union before receiving his MFA from Yale University. He has had solo exhibitions with the Public Art Fund, New York and The FLAG Art Foundation, New York. His work has been exhibited at prominent institutions including the Museum of Modern Art, NY; the Studio Museum Harlem, NY; the Crystal Bridges Museum of Art, Bentonville, AR; the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Toronto; the Museum of the African Diaspora, San Francisco; and the FLAG Art Foundation, NY, amongst others. His work is in the permanent collection of many institutions worldwide including, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; the Norton Museum of Art, Palm Beach, FL; The FLAG Art Foundation, NY; the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, CA; LACMA, Los Angeles, CA; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY, and The Whitney Museum of American Art, NY.

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