Speaking with Precision Curatorial Statement
Gerald A. Brown
What could one achieve with tools specifically designed for the language they naturally speak? Imagine that kind of power and its ability to revolutionize the way one constructs their inner thoughts—what kind of stories could they tell? Would this communication help prioritize the full needs and personal narratives of the maker? Rarely possessing this privilege,abstraction is an opportunity for Black and Brown people to exercise self-definition, providing a liberating feeling and instilling an immense amount of self-satisfaction.
Speaking with Precision is a cross-generational exploration of ceramic abstraction as an empowering framework for artists of color to convey the intersectional experiences of colonialism, sexuality, class, gender, systems and mental health within their respective communities. Showcasing the work of Syd Carpenter, Aisha Chantal Bryant, Daniel Alejandro Trejo, Leonor Marion-Landais, and Donte J. Moore, this exhibition will underscore the unique specificity of abstraction in clay, as a methodology that acutely translates the most internal thoughts of an artist into this embracive material. The craft’s malleable and forgiving nature encourages the artist to realize their fullest selves, their perceptions of their surroundings, and their deepest desires. Responsive and collaborative, this intuitive matter is the ideal platform for the artwork to become deeply self-expressive, and revealing of joys, fears and wonders, all while the artist maintains maximum autonomy.
Ceramic abstraction is an opportunity for artists of color to create their own visual language, designed to bend to the curve of their voice and wield the ferocity of their tone. Although abstraction is often misinterpreted as random, it is incredibly deliberate, conscious and most importantly, disruptive. While the aesthetics may create a dissonant feeling and isolate some, this style produces a slow discovery experience. Rather than providing instant gratification for the audience, understanding the work requires patience and time. Common ground is established between the artist and the viewer independent of external expectations. Subsequently, a new level of trust developed where assumptions can be abandoned and new perspectives can be discovered, allowing the viewer to be a part of the conversation without being its center. Overall, the exhibition will analyze the rebellious nature of abstraction, its amplified power when combined with ceramics, and Black and Brown artists’ usage of the subgenre’s ability to break monoliths for how they are expected to communicate.