Florine Démosthène: Between Possibility and Actuality

Mariane Ibrahim , Chicago, United States
02 Nov 2019 - 21 Dec 2019

Florine Démosthène, Possibility, 2019, Courtesy of the Artist and Mariane Ibrahim.

Florine Démosthène, Possibility, 2019, Courtesy of the Artist and Mariane Ibrahim.

Mariane Ibrahim is pleased to announce Florine Démosthène’s first solo exhibition with the gallery, “Between Possibility and Actuality.” On view from November 2 – December 21, 2019, the show celebrates the second presentation at the gallery’s Chicago space. Démosthène lures you into a phantasmagoric sphere with her sparkly surfaces and her amphibious marble-like figures adorned with aquatic accents.

Démosthène’s contemporary take on the body, in the form of multi-media paintings and collage, represent otherworldly dystopian characteristics, furthering the artists’ study of our divine spirit. Démosthène’s heroines criticize beauty canons through the narrative of her self-made feminine heroes. In this new body of work, the artist questions, “How do we connect to our inner essence? How do we connect to our ‘self,’ while disconnecting from stories and religions we have been taught?”

The duality of her figures consider stereotypical and two-dimensional notions of the black female body. The artist presents her adulation for duplicates by portraying her own body, often duplicated. The existence of twins has provoked curiosity and veneration amongst numerous societies, particularly in West African and Haitian sacred cultures. Démosthène’s art is comprehensively performative, emphasizing flesh and form among an evanescent backdrop.

The use of mylar, inherent to her former architectural training, enhance the lack of permanence in the background suggesting the figures are floating and translucent. Between reverie and reality, dream and nightmare, possibility and actuality, Démosthène plunges the viewer into her intertwined almost science-fiction dimension.

Démosthène was born in the United States and raised between Port-au-Prince, Haiti and New York. Démosthène earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Parsons the New School for Design in New York and her Master of Fine Arts from Hunter College-City University of New York. She has exhibited extensively through group and solo exhibitions in the United States, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom, Europe and Africa. Démosthène’s solo-presentation with Mariane Ibrahim at The Armory Show 2019, named her a top pick at the fair in the New York Times. She is the recipient of the Tulsa Artist Fellowship, Arts Moves Africa Grant and the Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant. Her work can be seen at the University of South Africa (UNISA), Lowe Museum of Art and in various private collections including the Hessel Museum of Art.