A stranger's soul is a deep well
January 20 – February 20, 2021
Fridman Gallery presents A stranger’s soul is a deep well, a multidisciplinary exhibition highlighting the work of nine contemporary artists: Ambrose, Heather Dewey-Hagborg, Athena LaTocha, Abigail Levine, Nate Lewis, Tyrone Mitchell, Wura-Natasha Ogunji, Sahana Ramakrishnan and Matana Roberts.
A proverb coined by Dostoevsky, the exhibition title refers to the innate mystery of the other. The works on view reflect the artists’ respective interior lives, hidden from the outside gaze and detached from judgements and trends. The title also alludes to the deep polarization of society in our time, with two halves of the populace seemingly living on separate planets.
The artists–as mediums–mine primordial, precognitive, emotional landscapes: Ambrose’s layered fabrics depict a psychic dance-like embrace; Dewey-Hagborg renders human DNA visible in the form of holographic and 3D-printed portraits; LaTocha’s sumi and shellac ink washes invoke human psychology enmeshed in wilderness; Levine’s typography of choreographic gestures manifest deeply personal mind-states; Lewis’s intricate paper carvings of bodies in motion diagnose hidden patterns and rhythms; Mitchell’s totemic assemblages reveal connections between disparate materials and forms; Ogunji’s transatlantic diaries, cast in poured brass, turn weightless, fleeting memories into impermeable solids; Ramakrishnan’s vividly physical painting of Muay Thai fighters celebrates the instinctual; Roberts’ pulsating audio-visual dedication to Black women subjected to state-sanctioned violence (installed in the gallery’s street-facing window with outdoor sound) shatters the window-dressing anonymity in which society at large entombs them.
The spot-lit installation will be accompanied online by a filmed walkthrough casting the artworks as a procession of characters that lead the viewer inside the artists’ singular worlds.
(Video has sound)
Making Me, Making You (Sparring Sessions)
Oil on canvas
74 x 48”
All The Animals Asked For Blood
Egg tempera, sumi ink, gold leaf and ferric chloride on stretched paper
16 x 13 x 1”
Ballad of Bhopal
42 x 36 x 4”
13 x 9 x 7.5”
Watercolor and ink on paper
12 x 9” each
Four-channel video installation with sound
Burnout velvet, scraps from slip dress, silk satin and hand-dyed silk organza, all sewn
96 x 55”
For Viola (Violet Shadows / Iris Studies No. 4)
Acrylic on muslin, acrylic on watercolor paper, velvet, wool, cotton, denim and various textiles sewn onto muslin, overlain with silk organza hand-dyed
33 x 20.5”
Sumi and walnut ink and earth on paper, steel, lead, burned wood
90 x 101.5 x 58”
Two 3D printed portraits, with holographic video presented on a Looking Glass Portrait
How do you see me?
2-channel video installation and set of six photographs
Thread, acrylic, ink on tracing paper
80 x 96”
Diary completed 2018, cast 2020
Brass, cast from journal
5.5 x 8.5 x 1”
Hand sculpted inkjet print, ink, frottage, graphite, embossing
40 x 26”