Kicking-off the winter session in January 2012, the Center presents “Converge” which features renowned artists Quisqueya Henriquez and Sonya Clark and the pieces they created while in residence as Knight Artists-in-Residence. Exploring themes of identity and inclusion, the work showcased in the exhibition will represent a convergence of art, history and diverse cultures. This exhibition is made possible with a generous grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation.
Cuban-born Quisqueya Henriquez incorporates collage and drawing over appropriated and often distorted images of twentieth-century artists and architects to investigate her place within the framework of art history. By marrying personal imagery with familiar images of the Whitney Museum of Art’s lobby and the site of a Gordon Matta Clark installation, Henriquez provides a commentary on her own challenges regarding access, support and inclusion. Ironically, many of these images she uses are from artists who in their own artistic practice also borrowed from other artists to raise questions about their respective places in the world and their roles. Henriquez graduated from the Instituto Superior de Arte in Havana, Cuba. She has exhibited her work throughout Latin America, Europe and the US. Her work can be found in private and public collections including El Museo del Barrio in New York and the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami, Florida. She was recently named as one of the 25 art world trendsetters by ARTnews.
Drawn to everyday objects, Sonya Clark employs the use plastic combs, hair and American money to reference her place within the confines of history and African and African American culture and heritage. She investigates the historical context of hair and its meaning related to “the first textile artists,” African Americans who manipulated their hair with combs. Individuals including Madame CJ Walker who reinvented the hair-straightening comb thus, becoming the first African American woman to become a millionaire, are represented in her unique portraits of American citizens. With contemporary references including President Obama, Clark’s work in “Converge” collapses the time between the Emancipation Proclamation and today. Originally from Washington, D.C., Clark received a BFA from the Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art. She has exhibited her work in more than 250 museums and galleries internationally and has been awarded the Pollock-Krasner Award, a Rockefeller Foundation Residency and a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship.
The exhibition featuring these celebrated artists runs from January 27 to March 24, 2012 and is free and open to the public. An opening reception will be held on Friday, January 27, 2012 from 6-9pm at the Center and includes the opportunity to meet the artists and learn about their work.
In addition to the exhibit, the work of eight distinguished artists-in-residence will be on exhibit in the Center’s corridor galleries. “Converge” and the residencies of Henriquez and Clark were made possible thanks to a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.