For NADA Foreland DIMIN is pleased to present sculpture by Brooklyn-based artist Whit Harris.
Friday, July 21, 11am–6pm
Saturday, July 22, 11am–8pm
Sunday, July 23, 11am–6pm
Foreland Catskill, 111 Water Street, Catskill, NY 12414
Visit NADA's website for more info.
Whit Harris's work centers on representations of the dissolute experience through disjointed depictions of the human body. Inspired by the James Baldwin short story Come Out of the Wilderness about a Black woman's struggle for love, happiness and agency, Harris renders her imaginary women, or "femmes", in naturalistic, detailed clay figurines, as they pose and interact with one another in uninhibited sensuality. They become models for unbridled agency offering a narrative juxtaposition to the constrained realities of the Black women mirrored in Baldwin's writing.
The figures are staged within an imaginary pleasure garden where they find freedom in intimacy and vulnerability, signified by their nudity and sometimes closed eyes. The colors - moody blues, purples and pinks - are inspired by moments the artist spent watching the sunset in New York pleasure gardens such as the Prospect Park peninsula and Hudson River Park piers. Figures stretch, recline, wriggle, twerk and otherwise contort themselves in exaggerated expressions that oscillate between naturalistic and exaggerated forms, and recall the Du Boisian premise of “double consciousness” underlying contemporary Black identity. These figures become metaphors for the artist’s psychological adaptation to unpredictable and hostile environments born out of anti-black social structures and reflect the tenacity and ingenuity of Black femme imagination as political resistance.
Harris has held solo exhibitions at Lauren Powell Projects in Los Angeles, and Artshack Gallery in Brooklyn. Her group exhibitions include Hauser and Wirth, New York; Galerie Christine Mayer, Munich; Swivel Gallery, Brooklyn; and in DIMIN's inaugural exhibition "Cycles". Harris holds an MFA at Hunter College, NY, and a BA from Stony Brook University, NY. (Follow Whit Harris on Instagram)