Women (Un)Silenced: A Survey of Contemporary Black Artists

 

Gallery 1202’s Fall 2020 program will be spearheaded by a powerful group show,​ Women (Un)Silenced: A Survey of Contemporary Black Artists.​ The show will take place in our physical location, 7363 Monterey Street, Gilroy, CA, from October 10 through November 20, 2020. The opening reception will take place on October 24 from 4-8 pm, and the closing reception will be November 20 from 6-9 pm.
Masks and timed entry required.

Women (Un)Silenced showcases 6 American artists who give voice to those who have been historically silenced. Each of these artists seeks to challenge their audience to adjust and question their perspective on issues such as mental health, misogyny, racism, culture, and gender by using the female figure as a tool in their respective mediums. Depicted in a variety of mediums including photography, painting, digital illustration, and textiles, the artists place female subjects into alternative narratives forcing the audience to reimagine these women through a different lens, which empowers both the subject and the artist.

Atlanta based portrait photographer Tokie Rome-Taylor has three works in the show from her recent series ​My People Could Fly​. As a daughter of the Diaspora who was never taught about her history, she seeks to reconnect with her past. On view will be ​Our Value > Cotton and Gold​, Veiled...Power in Those Hands,​ and ​Ancestors Speak... Soft as Cotton 1​. In these works, she uses Creolization, portraiture, and material culture to create an alternative narrative for southern women in a time when they had no rights or control over their bodies or lives. In these images, she materializes the rebellious tenacity in which Black women have historically clutched to their identity and autonomy throughout the centuries in the southern United States.

Samantha Viotty is a Washington D.C. based digital illustrator who focuses on identity and social issues in her work. Viotty’s recent illustration, ​Still Waiting for Justice for Breonna Taylor​, places Breonna Taylor, a Black woman shot in her home by police, in a celestial setting, but suspended, and in limbo as her killers have yet been brought to justice. The imagery is serene, but the title of the work confronts the viewer, giving an immortal voice to a woman who has been eternally silenced.

Charica Daughterty, located in Tulsa, Oklahoma, is an oil painter who has recently begun a series of works exploring historical and biblical women figures. In this series, she relies on primary documents to visualize her characters and, in many cases, their bi-racial ethnicity.
In her two paintings exhibited in the show, she portrays the Cushite wife of Moses, ​Zipporah​, and the bride of King Solomon, ​Rose of Sharon.​ Transgressing traditional depictions of these women by portraying them as both Black and nude, Daughterty strives to highlight the women’s qualities that set them apart from the historically white masculine world of Christianity.

Nigerian born painter Abi Salami based out of Dallas, Texas, seeks to bring awareness to mental health issues that are often seen as taboo and suppressed in African communities and the United States. She places women in surreal settings, drenched in rich colors and patterns, harkening back to her heritage in Nigeria. Her paintings are filled with joy, portraying the happiness one can experience even while struggling with mental health issues, provided they are properly supported and treated. Each of her works has subtle indications that something isn’t quite right; something is askew in the composition. ​Sitting on the Edge​ is draped with a simple yet surreal background with a woman perilously balancing on the edge above clouds, while carelessly and playfully balancing her shoes on her foot.

Patricia Montgomery, an Oakland-based artist, uses textiles to educate her viewers on the many Black women involved in the Civil Rights Movement. Montgomery stitches her subjects’ history into swing coats, using the African American tradition of quilting design and construction. Montgomery illustrates their stories with text, abstract forms, and historical images she sews directly into the coat. The coats are heavy with layers of knowledge and tradition of the Black women of the Civil Rights Movement.

Aimée M. Everett, based out of Austin, Texas, works with wood, acrylic, gold/silver leaf, and Ferro-Prussiate to create ghostly self-portraits in her recent series, ​Paying Reverence to the AltarofMemories.​ In these works, Everett portrays herself at different times of her life to confront memories that are difficult or traumatic to connect with and deconstruct. Her work often faces the challenges that women are expected to grit and bear, the cultural misogyny we have been conditioned to process. But even more exponentially challenging are the obstacles she faces as a Black woman, which extends beyond misogyny. ​An Offering Of Grace, Ripple, ​and Disharmonious Illusions​ will be part of the show and will be shown to the public for the first time after their completion at Everett’s recent artist residency at the Willow House in Texas.

For inquiries or catalogue requests, e-mail ​info@gallery1202.com​ or call 408.206.0018. The exhibition will be online on Artsy, Artnet, and a 3D tour is available via Artland.

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