Opening: Friday, May 20 at 6pm
Talk: Thursday, June 16 from 6pm to 7:30pm
HumanKind at Amy Kaslow Gallery opens Friday, May 20th, an exhibition of painted, sculpted and assembled works that celebrate how we see ourselves and one another. The artists peel back our defects to expose the raw beauty we so often overlook: our trust in ourselves, our personal resolve, our connectedness, our decency. Clearly, they want us to see it, too.
HumanKind has been two years in the making. As disease and war gripped the world, we have also concentrated on the creatives who chronicle daily life with their paint brushes, chisels, wires, needles and threads. We selected works that capture struggle and triumph, retreat and reach. Consider the dignity of the uniformed porter, standing alone along the train track; the series of Guatemalan families proudly dressed in their finest traditional textiles; a pair of life-sized silver feet moving through the white wall, all that’s still visible of the “persevering woman” who is passing through. The artists offer us an elevated view of our world that might give us the confidence and the curiosity to step up and into it; to look for that pride, that decency in one another.
About the Artists
Esperanza Alzona is a metalworker whose anatomical sculpture is grounded in her life as a dancer and choreographer. Metal, she says, allows her “to render a certain weight, a material presence” to her 3-D creations. Colorful, quizzical, and bursting with talent, Sandra Dooley hails from Cuba, where resourcefulness using found objects and recycled materials exemplify the country’s can-do. When times are tough for people, they’re tougher for animals, says the painter, who sells her work to feed the entire neighborhood of felines and canines when she calls for dinner. Nestor Madalengoitia takes what he calls a “Patternist” approach to his work — the subtext or the overlay, depending on your perspective, for his paintings and pastels. After easily getting lost in the maze-like graphics, the full pieces are particularly striking. Joseph Muzondo’s sculpture has long been prized by collectors in Europe, the US and the southern cone of Africa. In this series, he fuses his sculptural hand with paint on pliable paper, giving intriguing depth to a very familiar subject, the thumbprint. Steeped in Maya culture, Multicolores’ taps into more world class folk art talent in the northern highlands of Guatemala with hand-embroidered pieces, detailed and superbly crafted. Family and self-portraits show the traditional dress and hand woven textiles of Mayan pride. Noah James Saunders says he “speak[s]in wire; and faces are my language” and the mostly self-taught master creates profiles, busts and reliefs that are feats of artistry and engineering. His sculptures move and cast shadows so ethereal, we must remind ourselves that they are strips of metal. Elroy Williams has enjoyed an award-winning career as a commercial artist, and he has a keen eye for what captivates. Williams says he creates what “can only be said through the visual,” which seems obvious once we examine his evocative pastels.
Amy Kaslow Gallery is located at 4300 Fordham Rd. NW. The exhibition will be on view through July 10th. Learn more: https://amykaslowgallery.com/events/humankind