The Hole, New York, United States 15 Oct 2020 - 15 Nov 2020
Caitlin Cherry, 69 Syntax City, 2020. Oil on canvas, 58 x 102.5 inches. Image courtesy of the artist and The Hole NYC
The Hole New York presents Crichoues Indignation, an exhibition of new works by Caitlin Cherry, on view from October 15th-November 15th, 2020.
Crichoues Indignation will feature a slate of new creations—working between painting, sculpture and installation—that expand on the themes and imagery laid out in Cherry’s online show Corps Sonore at Luis De Jesus Gallery in Los Angeles.
The exhibition’s title is drawn from a misspelled Kanye tweet, deriving from an online rant involving his wife, Kim Kardashian. The rapper’s misspelling of “righteous” melts into nonsense when abstracted from its original context, playing at the question of codes, text and syntax—but the discomfiting issues of gendered power and respectability politics remain palpably near to the surface, explored in more depth across Cherry’s new compositions.
Cherry’s paintings feature larger-than-life subjects in striking color: Black femme figures, familiar composites drawn from an image culture that thrives on appropriating these women’s likeness while rarely crediting their creativity. Sustaining her engagement with the subjects of the previous show, which depicted the women employed at a Brooklyn cabaret, Cherry now paints dancers, bartenders and Instagram models working at cabarets and as online influencers.
Across her recent work, these women’s bodies are overlaid with cryptic alphanumeric symbols—kaleidoscopic incursions that refer back to the codes and algorithms that power our media landscape, fueling the algorithmic tools of Black culture’s dissemination and extraction. They also play at themes of authenticity and authentication, gesturing towards the PIN numbers and digital locks that facilitate the online sale of artificially-editioned art. While the women on view would seem to bare it all, the invocation of cryptography suggests a layer of nuance and agency—a reproach to the traditional female nude figure who passively abides her own sexualization.
Caitlin Cherry (b. 1987) draws on painting, sculpture and installation in her multifaceted practice, coalescing into articulate and alluring representations of Black femininity. Filtering these media through layers of digital manipulation, her work draws parallels between Black femme bodies, frequently commodified and positioned as sexual assets, and the seductiveness of art objects in the financialized gallery circuit. Cherry is currently Assistant Professor of Painting and Printmaking at Virginia Commonwealth University and the founder of the new online program Dark Study, a contra-institutional space for radical learning about art and theory. Her paintings have been exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum, Performance Space and The Studio Museum in Harlem, among other institutions of note. She is a recipient of a Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Fellowship Residency and Leonore Annenberg Fellowship.