On view at Marianne Boesky Gallery through February 26, 2022, the exhibition « Winner Takes All » co-organized by artist Amoako Boafo and curator Larry Ossei-Mensah offers a look at new works by nine emerging painters whose practices grapple with history and the complexity of identity through trial and error with non-literal structures, including Sophia-Yemisi Adeyemo-Ross, Jessica Alazraki, Aplerh-Doku Borlabi, YoYo Lander, Anoushka Mirchandani, Zéh Palito, Adjei Tawiah, Nigatu Tsehsay and Didier Viodé.
Longtime teammates Amoako Boafo and Larry Ossei-Mensah recently presented Souls of Black Folks at the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco, California.
Inspired by the enthusiastic effect and flexibility of the ABBA song The Winner Takes It All, the exhibition challenges assumptions about how allegorical artworks and the personality of the producer should be presented.
The artists highlighted in this exhibition construct whimsical spaces within the pictorial planes of their art that liberate their assorted subjects from the cultural demands of what can be a lose-lose situation, especially for minorities and outsiders.
It is through this freedom that they bring to light and realize, far-reaching stories that envelop a majority of remarkable voices, including those that have generally been excluded from the Western canonical discourse.
« Winner Takes All » All exhibition compares conventional canvases with multimedia works to address a group and artistic voices that lay out questions about identity, culture and flexibility. Through a powerful use of shading, surface, line, support, and structure, the artists are united in their desire to welcome the viewer into a profound, yet important discourse related to our global humanity and identity.
The artists explore what representation looks like for their communities, which leads us to ask how we can see each other and ourselves honestly.
The artists in the « Winner Takes All » exhibition
Sophia-Yemisi Adeyemo-Ross lives and works in New York City. She transforms images of people, from recorded photos, into imagined scenes. She doesn’t remake history, but rather uses a past taken as substance to develop the dream of a liberated presence. She gathers pieces of painted paper to imagine a total reconstruction of the connections between blacks and natives, and land, and work. Her work depicts the reconstruction of tribal horticultural practices and local power over land, lives and global consideration.
Jessica Alazraki, born in Mexico City, lives and works in New York City. She makes works that transpose the everyday existence of Latinos into contemporary art. She attempts to eulogize the lifestyle, ceremonies and esteem of the family to construct new accounts of her community. Her artworks often feature the encounters and experiences of Latino immigrants in the context of domestic interior spaces.
Aplerh-Doku Borlabi lives and works in Accra and externally depicts the physical and natural associations between man and vegetation. He uses coconut husks to deliver the skin of his subjects, articulating the tension between what is ignored, eliminated and considered monstrous, and what is regular, solid, perplexing, multifaceted and charming.
YoYo Lander was born in Sumter and lives and works in Los Angeles. She is a self-taught painter whose work explores the marrow of humanity. Her subjects are layers of watercolor paper stained and cut separately, placed decisively on sketches.
Anoushka Mirchandani, born in Pune, India, lives and works in San Francisco. She reflects on her experience of exploring diverse ways of life as an Indian, American, immigrant, woman and artist. Anoushka Mirchandani explores how the history of her reality, culture, socio-political climate and elements of her immediate environment shape her inner world and what it means to exist in a liminal space.
Zéh Palito, in Limeira, Brazil, lives and works between São Paulo and Baltimore, uses his artistic practice to promote a relationship of common consideration and pleasure between people and the ordinary world, frequently drawing inspiration from Brazilian and African societies. His vivid paintings present fantastical scenes where people, creatures and vegetation coincide in a unique concordance.
Adjei Tawiah was born in Ghana where he lives and works. He creates brilliantly shaded and softly finished portraits in mixed media. Using a strategy he calls “martial sponge,” he inspires a non-literal purging of negative views.
Nigatu Tsehay was born in Addis Ababa, but lives and works in Frankfurt, Germany. He depicts the lived experience through representations of distorted bodies, mounted and installed inside different structures that bring together nonetheless living body parts. Nigatu Tsehay investigates the closeness or narrowness of the ways in which people relate to each other and how each individual seems to exist through reflection, through relationship with others and through objects that come to represent or signify different opinions based on our shared histories and narratives.
Didier Viodé, born in Ivory Coast, lives and works in Besançon. He creates observational artworks that depict his daily life and that of migrants. Placing humanity at the heart of his practice, Didier Viodé’s objective is to present an image of the world from the perspective of his art.