Influenced by hip-hop, history, and science fiction, Donté K. Hayes explores memories of the past to project possible futures. The ceramic vessels in his “Welcoming” series use the pineapple as a surrogate for the Black body, tapping into its dual significance as a symbol of welcome and hospitality for some groups and a symbol of racist exclusion and agricultural colonization for others.
NEW YORK Americas Society “The Spine of Music,” an intriguing, spirited exhibition of works by 90-year-old Guatemalan artist and musician Joaquín Orellana (on view through April 24, 2021), features a selection of his handmade percussive instruments—which visitors may play—as well as works by other artists acquainted with his practice.
An artwork is an odd kind of cipher—by the time viewers see it, it’s all veneer, divorced from the studio, stripped of the labor and history that went into its production (as well as its synergistic relationship with its creator), and polished up into an end product.
ST IVES, CORNWALL, U.K. Tate St Ives The day I visited Tate St Ives to see “Strange Attractors” (on view through September 26, 2021), nature seemed perfectly aligned with Haegue Yang’s vision—charcoal clouds scowled across the sky as Atlantic rollers thundered deafeningly onto the beach below.
Artista plástica argentina viviendo en Houston, Paula Córdoba desarrolla una obra donde busca poner en evidencia aspectos culturales silenciados de aquellas culturas que siempre quedaron a la sombra del pensamiento hegemónico occidental.
NEW YORK Venus Over Manhattan Shinichi Sawada’s dynamic, wood-fired ceramic sculptures teem with energy. In this show—the first U.S. presentation of works by the self-taught, 38-year-old artist, who is based in Shiga, Japan—a few dozen figures arranged on two long tables form a modern-day bestiary of creatures drawn from Japanese mythology and reality.
NAPLES, ITALY Thomas Dane Gallery Alexandre da Cunha works in the tradition of the readymade, creating elegant sculptures from cheap and disposable everyday objects (such as mops) that he selects as much for their formal qualities as for their references to labor.
The work of Beili Liu, an installation artist based in Austin, Texas, consists of hundreds of not-quite-identical units that construct an architecture of thought with correlatives in lived experience. Although the repetition of objects is a representation of single-mindedness, Liu’s installations leap from obsession and repetition to something profound and expansive, merging the personal with the political.
Cuban-born artist Glenda León came of age during Fidel Castro’s regime, so she learned early on to make art from mostly free and cheap stuff. Now dividing her time between Havana and Madrid, León remains a media egalitarian whose odd assortment of materials includes everything from her fingernails, hair, and the sound of her breath to pianos and mountains of sand.