NEW ORLEANS (press release) – IBIS Contemporary Art Gallery is pleased to announce the upcoming solo exhibition by Scherezade Garcia titled Collective Portraits: The Map in My Skin from Series Reframing America. The exhibition opens November 5 through December 23 with an Artist’s Reception on November 5, 5-9 p.m. The installation will include soft sculpture, large paintings, and works on paper.
In this new body of work, her portraits are termed as “collective” since they represent a community instead of an individual. This community portrait is the formal outcome of many encounters that make us plural and allude to the fluidity of ethnicity. These concepts are informed by the crossing of the Atlantic and its multifarious consequences. Race and the politics of color (formally and conceptually) are essential to Garcia’s work.
New Orleans is a special place for Garcia. In 2017, she was rewarded a month-long residency at the Joan Mitchell Center, which is based in New Orleans. When the directors from IBIS — a newly opened gallery in downtown New Orleans — offered to showcase her art, she was happy for the opportunity to return to the Crescent City. Garcia describes her work in NOLA and her connection to the city in her book From This Side of the Atlantic, “The body of work I developed at the Joan Mitchell Foundation Center in New Orleans is inspired by my ancestral history and my fascination with the American experience.” Her 2017 series presents the city as emblematic of a diverse America that is constantly downplayed by mythologies of a cultural homogeneity. In other bodies of work such as America: Borders and Fireworks and the Golden Funeral, the artist draws motifs associated with Mardi Gras in New Orleans, combined with images common to her native Caribbean culture.
Of this exhibition, The Map in My Skin, Garcia writes, “As a Latinx contemporary artist, my work is concerned with creating narratives essential to understanding Las Americas and the American experience. My work intends to unveil the many ongoing cultural encounters that continuously shape and reshape how we view and perceive color in America. The majority of what I create is centered on the politics of inclusion. History plays a central role in my artistic practice of decoding and deconstructing visual narratives of power.”
Internationally renowned, Garcia was born in Santo Domingo, capital of the Dominican Republic and is currently based in New York and Austin. Solo and duo exhibitions of Garcia’s work are included in Praxis Art Gallery, NYC where she is represented, The Art Museum of the Americas, Clifford Art Gallery at Colgate University, Miller Theater at Columbia University, Lehman College Art Gallery, Crossroads Gallery at the University of Notre Dame, Museo de Arte de Santo Domingo, and more. She has participated in the Havana Biennial, the International Biennial of Paintings at Haute de Cagnes, the IV Caribbean Biennial, Trienal Poli/GráUca de San Juan, Latin American Biennial, BRIC Biennial, Venice Autonomous Biennial, and international fairs. Garcia’s work is also included in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Art Museum of the Americas, El Museo del Barrio, The Housatonic Museum of Art, El Museo de Arte Moderno in Santo Domingo, and others. Garcia is the recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters & Sculptors Grant (2015) and the Colene Brown Art Prize (2020). An edited monograph on her work Scherezade Garcia: From This Side of the Atlantic, was published in 2020 by the Art Museum of the Americas.