ORGANIZED BY THE PRAISE SHADOWS MENTORSHIP PROGRAM
RASHIDA ABUWALA, CLINT BACLAWSKI, CICELY CAREW, DANIELA RIVERA
September 7 through 30, 2022
Organized through the 2022 Praise Shadows Mentorship Program by teen curators Ana Hernández and Michael Sun with curatorial advisor Jen Mergel, the Gallery is proud to present Chromatic Visions. Featuring Rashida Abuwala, Clint Baclawski, Cicely Carew, and Daniela Rivera, the exhibition will be on view September 7 through 30, 2022. The public is welcome to the Opening Reception on Sunday, September 11 from noon to 2 pm.
The capacity to perceive color is a scientific phenomenon known as chromatic vision. But it is also something more poetic and subjective–with no two people seeing exactly alike. Through artists’ works employing color across their distinct embodied and cultural experiences, and across diverse materials and methods, this exhibition invites exploration of as many chromatic visions as there are expressive points of view, including yours. Chromatic Visions seeks to prompt open-ended questions about how color can stimulate both immediate reaction and deeper thinking.
Rashida Abuwala, Clint Baclawski, Cicely Carew, and Daniela Rivera create and combine with color so that we might feel our own perceptual, corporal, spatial, and political positions more keenly or personally. Defying traditional conventions of painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, and drawing, they manipulate chromatic media to materialize a resonant sense of self, place, and power. Their works draw us through the gallery space with their bisecting glow, sound or lines to extend ideas of our relation to natural and social environments. Ultimately, through slicing and reassembling with color, they ask us to fill in the gaps to imagine new horizons.
About the Praise Shadows Mentorship Program
This is the second year of the Praise Shadows Mentorship Program. Established upon the gallery’s founding in 2021 as an essential part of the mission, the Program hosts Boston-area high school students for a unique professional development opportunity. Upon application review, up to two students are selected for paid work in the gallery through the spring and summer season, with the opportunity to curate a culminating group exhibition with a selected curatorial advisor.
Under the guidance of the gallery team and curatorial advisor Jen Mergel, mentees Ana Hernández and Michael Sun pursued studio visits with artists, met with museum educators, curators and directors, reviewed Boston-area exhibitions, and refined their exhibition checklist, layout, statement and engagement plans. Ana Hernández is a rising senior at Brookline High School, with experience in AP Art. Michael Sun graduated from Newton South High School and recently began his freshman year at Brandeis University. As Director of Experience and Cultural Partnerships at the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, Jen Mergel is presenting programs for Olmsted Now: Greater Boston’s Olmsted Bicentennial and has most recently served as a mentor for the international program of the Association of Art Museum Curators.
About the Artists and Selected Works
Rashida Abuwala (b. Queens, NY in 1983, lives and works in Brooklyn, NY) draws on her Muslim-American heritage, South Asian dying traditions, and studies of New York Color Field painting as she saturates, slashes, and reassembles canvas with color. Invested in both art and community organizing since her youth, Abuwala paints through gestures of binding and opening, separating and reconnecting, breakdown and renewal, often as a collective act. Her video Dueto Morpho captures a collaborative performance of transformation from stained surface to stitched textile, while Dream 315 suspends earthen and vibrant hues as a cascading landscape of solid planes and dancing shadows.
Clint Baclawski (b. Lewisburg, PA in 1981, lives and works in Boston, MA) subverts conventions of American landscapes by splicing his photographs into a series of LED-lit columns glowing across slick surfaces. His highly textured scenes of nature diffuse and merge with laminates of Plexi, plywood, and brushed or polished metallic finishes in even tones of peach, khaki or copper. The resulting works, Temperate and Bound/ary, combine the high-fidelity of corporate advertising imagery with the intimacy of a domestic mirror or privacy screen that at once allure yet resist, enfold yet divide.
Cicely Carew (b. Los Angeles, CA in 1982, lives and works in Boston, MA) animates the tools and scale of printmaking with the assertion “color is corporal.” Moving from two dimensions to three by layering not just imagery but materials, she occupies and energizes space with vibrancy, which she asserts as a Black woman, is a political act. The fluorescence and fractured planes of her large-scale collage Fetê. No. 2 and the striations in her back-lit digital collage burn an after image on the mind’s eye, refusing to disappear or be ignored. Like her wall sculptures made of printing mesh, her abstract forms optically “hold the room” from a distance, and hold attention up close.
Daniela Rivera (b. Santiago, Chile in 1973, lives and works between Wellesley, Framingham and North Adams, MA) chooses to explore connections to places with materials that evoke complex social, political, and ecological dynamics. For the past decade, she has experimented with copper for both its historical influence on Chile, which altered its economy and landscape to mine it, and for its reactive qualities with air, light, and heat. Most recently, she discovered how copper leaf mixed with hot glass emerges as a galaxy of blue, as seen in Un bote / One bounce. Rather than a glistening galaxy, she captures a smoky atmosphere of a charred landscape drawing in Es solo un dibujo / Just a drawing (línea de horizonte portátil / portable horizon line), a work which might contain all colors on its darkness, yet expands like a spectrum outward, infinitely.
Fabric dye, acrylic paint, embroidery thread on raw canvas
84 x 60 in.
Courtesy the artist
Artist’s Proof (Edition of 2 plus one AP)
Khaki and peach Acrylic, pre-finished Maple plywood, archival pigment backlight prints, clear polycarbonate tubes, 6′ LED bulbs, lift-off hinges, Stinger cable
132 x 82 x 8 in.
Courtesy the artist and Abigail Ogilvy Gallery
Fetê. No. 2
Canvas, vinyl, acrylic, yupo, ink archival paper
66 x 48 x .5 in.
Courtesy the artist
Solo un dibujo / Just a drawing
Landscape drawing copper point on paper inside glass
Courtesy the artist