Curtis Talwst Santiago
Can't I Alter
Curtis Talwst Santiago: Can't I Alter is the first exhibition devoted to the Canadian-Trinidadian artist’s drawing practice, which has expanded significantly in recent years. Throughout his work, Santiago grapples with “genetic imagination,” or the ability to access generational knowledge through imaginative recollection and projection. For the artist, this method serves as a means of wading through histories lost, hidden, and often tangled. In Can’t I Alter, Santiago creates a multi-faceted narrative in an immersive, drawing-filled installation that explores the theme of ancestry and the necessity of preserving the past while acknowledging the fallacies implicit in historical recollection. As viewers explore the space, they join Santiago and his alter ego, the J’ouvert Knight, in an attempt to locate a diasporic ancestor whose existence cannot ever be fully grasped. A newly commissioned film accompanies the installation, as well as performances organized by Santiago.
Curtis Talwst Santiago (b. 1979, Edmonton, Alberta) studied as an apprentice of Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun. Santiago has exhibited internationally at venues such as The FLAG Art Foundation, New York, NY; The New Museum, New York, NY; The Eli and Edythe Broad Museum at Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI; the Institute of Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA; the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan, Canada; The Pérez Art Museum Miami, Miami, FL; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada; and the SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah, GA; among others. The artist was included in the SITE Santa Fe SITELines.2018 Biennial, Casa Tomada, in Santa Fe, NM and was featured in the 2018 Biennale de Dakar in Dakar, Senegal. His work is in the permanent collection of the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY.
Organized by Claire Gilman, Chief Curator, with Isabella Kapur, Curatorial Assistant.
Curtis Talwst Santiago: Can't I Alter is made possible by the Canada Council for the Arts.
Generous support is provided by Rachel Uffner Gallery, William A. and Pamela K. Royall, Maxine Granovsky Gluskin, and the Consulate General of Canada in New York.
Additional support is provided by Cathy and Jonathan Miller; Barbara Polla; Carol Saper; Carla Shen and Christopher Schott; Isabel Stainow Wilcox; Anonymous; Cooper Cole, Toronto; Rashid Johnson and Sheree Hovsepian; Ruth Roberts; Liz Dimmitt and Piers Davies; Susan and Randolph Randolph; and Tiffany Hott.
Image: Curtis Talwst Santiago, Red Face Ancestral Vision 1, 2018. Spray paint, oil, charcoal, pastel, acrylic on canvas, 39 3/4 x 39 1/2 inches (101 x 100.3 cm). Courtesy of Rachel Uffner Gallery.
To See from a Distance
Guo Fengyi: To See from a Distance is the first major institutional presentation of the Chinese artist’s work in the United States. The exhibition features more than thirty works from Guo’s brief yet prolific career, including drawings executed on book and calendar pages and on cloth, as well as small- and large-scale drawings on rice-paper scrolls. Spanning two floors of The Drawing Center’s galleries, To See from a Distance provides an overview of Guo’s visionary drawings, which incorporate the diagrammatic, the mystical, and the wildly imaginative.
Born in 1942 in Xi’an, Guo began making art in her late forties after debilitating arthritis forced her into early retirement from a job at a chemical fertilizer factory. To alleviate her chronic pain, Guo devoted herself to qigong—an ancient Chinese wellness and healing technique that combines coordinated movements, breathing, and meditation. Qigong allowed Guo, who did not have an academic art training, to develop a deeply personal and symbolically charged visual language. During her meditations, Guo drew what she envisioned, creating intricate ink drawings on subjects ranging from cosmology and Chinese mythology to traditional Chinese medicine and philosophy.
Organized by Rosario Güiraldes, Assistant Curator, and Laura Hoptman, Executive Director.
Guo Fengyi: To See from a Distance is made possible by Long March Space.
Generous funding is provided by the W.L.S. Spencer Foundation.
Additional support is provided by the Toll Charitable Foundation and Sarah Peter.
Image: Guo Fengyi, Fetus, 1989. Colored ink on calendar paper, 31 5/16 x 21 inches (99.7 x 73 cm). Courtesy of Long March Space.
In October, 2019, Chicago artist Edie Fake will create a site-specific wall drawing in the stairwell of The Drawing Center lobby. Fake’s installation will be the fourth in a series following Inka Essenhigh’s Manhattanhenge (April 2018–August 2019), Gary Simmons’s Ghost Reels (October 2016–February 2018), and Abdelkader Benchamma’s Dark Matter (April 2015–August 2016).
Edie Fake (b. 1980, Chicago) is known for his drawings of architecture, both real and visionary, that represent what the artist calls “Queer Space.” Using kaleidoscopic color schemes and vibrating maze-like motifs, Fake creates psychical maps of spaces in which LGBTQ+ communities traditionally sought out self-identification. Fake floods his drawings with overlapping patterns and architectural features: labyrinthine walls, doors, windows, and swimming pools among others. Simultaneously bold and disorienting, Fake’s eclectic drawings function as visual metaphors for the experience of LGBTQ+ identity, which can be both empowering and destabilizing.
At The Drawing Center, Fake will realize his architectural fantasies in an actual built space. Overlaying an imagined maze-like architectural façade onto the walls of the stairwell, Fake will turn the liminal space into an homage to the Labyrinth Foundation, an early organization for trans men established in the late 1960s in Chicago. The elaborate façade will dissolve into the same winding patterns and paths that populate Fake’s individual drawings, a reference to the myriad unmapped territories and paths through trans identity.
Edie Fake: Labyrinth is made possible by Marlborough; the Toby Devan Lewis Donor Advised Fund of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland; Gary Metzner and Scott Johnson; John Robin Baitz; billy ocallaghan and mark gross; and Western Exhibitions.
Image: Edie Fake, Sketch for Labyrinth at The Drawing Center, 2019. Courtesy of the artist.