Joseph Sherman: Anonymous Fields | Praz-Delavallade Los Angeles

Joseph Sherman. Triple Double, 2023, archival pigment print, wall paint, confetti 40 x 40 in (101.6 x 101.6 cm)
Art Martin Cid Magazine
Art Martin Cid Magazine

Praz-Delavallade Los Angeles is pleased to present Anonymous Fields, its first solo exhibition with artist Joseph Sherman. The exhibition highlights Sherman’s versatile practice, which incorporates painting, sculpture, mixed-media collage, and installation as visual and conceptual pathways into entrenched cultural legacies indexing Blackness. Broadly, his work inhabits the cultural arenas of sports and entertainment iconography where dilemmas of Black persona are negotiated through public, communal, and personal mythologies, and between iconic and profane experiences of racialized identity. Sherman’s interventions probe formal and existential paradoxes conditions of embedding various contemporary spectacles apprehending Black labor within larger contemporary spectacles to instead rearticulate the Black authorial and creative nuances that make these cultural formations legible, or what the artist refers to as “epiphanies.”

With Anonymous Fields, Sherman alludes to discursive, cultural, and representational terrains that have historically situated Black Americans within paradoxical relationships to their creative output. Citing early writingsfoundational writings on Black music by the late poet and theorist Amiri Baraka, “anonymous fields” refers to the late poet and theorist’s formulation of the antebellum plantation as a site where enslaved Blacks were forcefully rendered into anonymous bodies, save for the acts of hymnal praise that collectively preserved their human integrity through musical performance. Sherman extends Baraka’s notion to recuperate other terrains where Black aesthetic, performative, and embodied activity are exploited towards new gestures of Black cultural signification and belonging.

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