E: Jessefirestone@gmail.com


Nothing Under Heaven
Joseph Liatela alongside Andy Warhol and Carlo Dolci

George Segal Gallery @ Montclair State University
September 23 - December 9, 2023

The artist’s first solo museum exhibition brings together new commissions and recent works that explore the need for connection, pleasure, and agency within oppressive systems. Exhibited alongside photography by Andy Warhol (1928-1987) and religious art by Carlo Dolci (1616-1686) from the University Galleries’ collection, Liatela correlates spaces of communal experience – churches, medical institutions, and clubs – where promises of salvation and healing commingle in proximity to loss and grief. By uniting these different spaces through a range of mediums and interdisciplinary analysis, Liatela reveals how these disparate environments hold similar contradictions that impact the way we perceive ourselves and each other.

Case Studies 1: Damien Davis - OLD CURRENCIES

Kasser Theater @ Montclair State University
September 23 - December 9, 2023

Cowrie shells, tobacco leaves, and anatomical shapes appear throughout the exhibition to explore themes of currency, sex, and cultural traditions that connect a wide range of experiences within the African diaspora. In the Blackamoors print series, made exclusively using Adobe Illustrator’s “Ancient” preset color palette, Davis looks at how classifications and nomenclature within digital softwares relate to perceptions of identity and culture.

By repeating and collaging a matrix of forms that relate to various contexts within the African Diaspora, Davis invites us to rethink how Blackness is coded and transmitted across cultures. Intentionally avoiding figuration, these works defy the current trend of representation and instead rely on associations, comparisons, and cross cultural analysis to connect a diverse landscape of Black identities.

The Nature of Family Portraits
Featuring works by Destiny Belgrave, Sean-Kierre Lyons, Devin Osorio, Maia Cruz Palileo.

Wave Hill House @ Wave Hill
March 15  –  July 11, 2022

Displayed inside the former domestic setting of Wave Hill House, The Nature of Family Portraits looks to artists who expand on traditions of the family portrait. While each artist’s approach is distinct and personal, the exhibited works all reference and rely upon depictions of nature, flora and landscapes to complement and complicate our understanding of how family relationships and lineage can be represented.

To further expand the notions of kinship, artists use surrealistic depictions of nature and people to reflect both personal and collective imaginings. In examining how themes of home, social histories, displacement and imagination are depicted within contemporary examples of family portraits, the exhibition reflects a myriad of relationships that constitute the family today, including the nuclear family, diasporic and ancestral lineages and chosen families within self-made communities.

Earth in Peril
David Benjamin Sherry

Wave Hill House @ Wave Hill
August 28  –  December 5, 2021

With an unrelenting reverence for the natural world, David Benjamin Sherry photographs epic scenes of the American landscape with a particular focus on the West, highlighting its beauty while hinting at its precarious future. Showcasing a selection of color, monochromatic and black-and-white photographs made over the past 12 years, Earth in Peril highlights Sherry’s technical skills, sensitive eye and queer perspective that set his landscape photography apart from his predecessors and contemporaries.

More coming soon.

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