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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)

Matana Roberts ...stay true...

Matana Roberts

...stay true…


Single-channel video, music, and text (click image to read)

6 minutes

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Sahana Ramakrishnan    
Making Me, Making You (Sparring Sessions)
Oil on canvas    
74 x 48”


Sahana Ramakrishnan

All The Animals Asked For Blood


Egg tempera, sumi ink, gold leaf and ferric chloride on stretched paper

16 x 13 x 1”

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Tyrone Mitchell

Ballad of Bhopal


Mixed Media

42 x 36 x 4”

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Tyrone Mitchell



Mixed Media

13 x 9 x 7.5”


Abigail Levine



Watercolor and ink on paper

12 x 9” each

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Abigail Levine



Four-channel video installation with sound



Intertwined underneath


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”


Athena LaTocha



Sumi and walnut ink and earth on paper, steel, lead, burned wood

90 x 101.5 x 58”

Heather Dewey-Hagborg

Watson's Ghost


Two 3D printed portraits, with holographic video presented on a Looking Glass Portrait

Dimensions variable

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Heather Dewey-Hagborg

How do you see me?


2-channel video installation and set of six photographs

6:03 min

Wura-Natasha Ogunji Faster 2020 no tab.p

Wura-Natasha Ogunji



Thread, acrylic, ink on tracing paper

80 x 96”

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Wura-Natasha Ogunji


Diary completed 2018, cast 2020

Brass, cast from journal

5.5 x 8.5 x 1”

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Nate Lewis

Signaling LI


Hand sculpted inkjet print, ink, frottage, graphite, embossing

40 x 26”

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