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Beyond Binaries

Milford Graves, Basil Kincaid, and Sahana Ramakrishnan

August 27 – October 18, 2021

Opening Reception

Friday, August 27

6-8 pm

Performance by New MUSE4tet, 8pm


Sahana Ramakrishnan

Ghost dance (Triumph of the dead)


Oil on canvas

72h x 54w in


Please join us for an artist talk with Sahana Ramakrishnan. Sahana will be discussing her practice and work in Beyond Binaries. Click the links below to RSVP for the in-person event or join virtually.

Sunday, October 17, 2021, 3 pm

Fridman Gallery is pleased to announce Beyond Binaries, an exhibition at its Beacon location featuring works by Milford Graves, Basil Kincaid and Sahana Ramakrishnan. Each of the artists has developed a unique cosmology based on research into the artistic and philosophical traditions of their ancestors. The artists-as-mythmakers coalesce the seemingly antagonistic forces around them to create a space of deeper vision.


On the occasion of Beyond Binaries, Fridman Gallery is honored to announce the representation of Sahana Ramakrishnan whose first solo exhibition with the gallery will open in November 2022. 


Ramakrishnan’s paintings explore the concept of non-duality, central to Hinduism and Buddhism. The Western-European tradition––with its emphasis on the distinction between the subject and the object, between the rational mind and the examined world––has led, inevitably, to the fracturing of the social fabric and the wealth gap that accompanies unchecked individualism. Non-duality posits that there is no distinction between an individual consciousness and the totality of being, that the observed reflects the observer and that, therefore, any resentment towards the other is illusory. From this standpoint, Ramakrishnan uses her paintings to contemplate death, identity, and the consumption and killing of "other" sentient beings. 


Basil Kincaid’s family has made quilts for over seven generations. Kincaid’s textile works are primarily composed of found or donated materials that bear great emotional significance to those who once enjoyed them. Interested in the lived experience captured in these materials, Kincaid sees the practice of quilting in the Black cultural tradition as a revolutionary space of joy, courage, and community in direct contrast to social and financial subjugation. 


Both Kincaid and Ramakrishnan are also interested in the idea of engaging with the Earth and its elements as sentient forces. Their vivid compositions utilize ancient symbolism––Indian miniatures and tantric art for Ramakrishnan, geometric patterns of West-African textiles for Kincaid––to explore the role colonialism and misogyny have played in our relationship with the world, and to show that humans (particularly men) have lost the connection to the natural, animalistic, feminine spirit within them that is at once creative and sacrificial, and responsible for growth and renewal.


Connecting to the healing energy of the universe was also a central theme in the multidisciplinary practice of Milford Graves who spent nearly 40 years establishing correlations among vibrations of the Earth and rhythms of the human heart. A free-jazz percussionist, visual artist, herbalist, martial-art inventor, teacher, and computer programmer, Graves algorithmically derived melodies directly from his recordings of the heartbeat, calling them “biological music, a synthesis of the physical and mental, a mind-body deal.” Beyond Binaries will feature two hand-painted gongs resonating with “fundamental frequencies”––tones discovered by Nicola Tesla to be in harmony with the vibration of the core of the Earth. These gongs were Graves’ last creations. 


Milford Graves (1941–2021, Jamaica, Queens) was a pioneer of Free Jazz and a member of the New York Art Quartet, and taught music and movement for 39 years at Bennington College. In 2000, he received a Guggenheim Fellowship, and in 2015 the Doris Duke Foundation Impact Award. A retrospective of his work, Milford Graves: A Mind-Body Deal was exhibited at ICA Philadelphia in 2020 and will travel to Artists Space in New York City this October. Graves’ work will also be on view in Greater New York at MoMA PS1.


Basil Kincaid is a post-disciplinary artist who explores the fixity of conditioned and self-imposed constructs through quilting, collaging, photography, installation and performance. Kincaid’s work is in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and JPMorgan Chase. Kincaid is a 2021 recipient of the United States Artists Fellowship. Kincaid currently lives and works in Accra, Ghana. 


Sahana Ramakrishnan was born in Mumbai, India and raised in Singapore. She travelled to the United States to complete her BFA in Painting at RISD, has participated in residencies and fellowships at Yaddo, Gateway Project Spaces, the Robert Blackburn Workshop, the Yale/Norfolk Summer program, and received the Florence Leif grant from RISD. Ramakrishnan currently lives and works in Jersey City, NJ.


With press inquiries, please contact Hanna Gisel at

For general information and sales, please contact

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Basil Kincaid

The Timeless One


Mixed media quilt

89h x 78w x 1d in

Basil Kincaid_Take my hand from above and below 2021 Embroidery on canvas, 36h x 48w x 2d

Basil Kincaid

Take my hand from above and below


Embroidery on canvas

36h x 48w x 2d in

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Milford Graves

Big Bang


Acrylic on wind gong

24" diameter

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Sahana Ramakrishnan

Self Portrait Between Two Trees


Oil, silk and embroidery thread on stitched canvas

76h x 60w in

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Milford Graves

Untitled 8


Acrylic on vinyl sleeve

12.50h x 30.50w in

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