Beginning September 22, Fort Gansevoort will present The Tip of the Iceberg, its first solo exhibition with Dawn Williams Boyd at the gallery’s space in New York City. Featuring twelve new large-scale works, this presentation coincides with the last leg of the artist’s traveling museum exhibition Dawn Williams Boyd: Woe, on view at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York. Boyd’s “cloth paintings” establish a powerful, unblinking sociopolitical narrative with textiles. Using fabric as her pigment, she layers and stitches together personal recollections, historical records, and political references to challenge commonly accepted narratives. Her scenes are populated by life-sized figures and rendered with elaborate textures and ornate patterns, evoking the rich legacies of quilting and collage that critic Sasha Bonét has described as the “historical practice of Black imagination” – but here with a difference: Boyd establishes a unique visual language of her own within the wider traditions of sewing, by employing unexpected materials such as beads, sequins, cowry shells, laces, silk ribbons, and acrylic paints. She delivers a figurative truth fashioned from a canny transformation of ordinary fibers, introducing the viewer to a contemporary interpretation of visual storytelling.
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