CONCORD, MASS.- Lucy Lacoste Gallery
brings to the world Isaac Scott in the artist’s first major gallery exhibition Mouros, through October 14, 2023, in Concord, Massachusetts. Here the artist pushes the boundaries of contemporary art by creating a dialogue between the two mediums of ceramics and photography to tell the culturally relevant story of the Slave Trade as it originated in Lisbon, Portugal in 1455.
Isaac Scott received his MFA from Temple University in 2021 under Roberto Lugo. Introduced to Lucy Lacoste in 2022, Scott was included in a well-received group show at the Gallery that year in which he showed his #Philadelphia Series, sculpture inspired by the 2020 Riots in Philadelphia, the city where he lives, after the death of George Floyd. His photographs of the Riots were published by the New Yorker Magazine earning him the National Magazine Award for Feature Photographer of the Year.
Traveling through Portugal in 2022 during an artist residency in Cerdeira, Scott became aware that Lisbon was the city where the Slave Trade originated, with the blessing of the Pope under the guise of converting the Africans to Christianity. He also learned that many of the Moors who ruled the Iberian Peninsula during the Middle Ages were Black Muslims. In response to this, the artist created Mouros, a series of ceramic heads that tell the stories of the peoples of West African descent and speak to these issues.
The term Moor refers to people from Northern Africa and Blacks from Western Africa. The Moors were from all over; it referred to anybody who worshipped Islam and had dark skin. It was also another word for foreigner.
He thinks of Mouros as immortal beings who have inhabited spaces in history and are now telling us their stories. For this exhibition, Scott made a series of heads that represent these beings, focusing on different aspects that were of interest from his research including the African diaspora and Hip-Hop Culture. These are paired with photographic rondels taken by the artist in contemporary Lisbon. Through the combination of the Heads and Rondels, the story of slavery in Lisbon is told, conveying the horror, irony and twists of this tragic chapter in history that continues to impact our world culture today.
“Every now and then one comes across a new artist whose work excites and is worthy of the highest accolades. Realizing the content and the art in this completely new series, I knew I had to do everything possible to bring it to light in the fullest possible way.” — Lucy Lacoste