Rush Art Galleries is proud to debut Faculty, a new exhibition that presents the work of Washington, D.C. artist collective, Delusions of Grandeur. Through a lens of critical intellectualism and psychic vision, the six artists who form the collective, Jamea Richmond-Edwards, Shaunté Gates, Stan Squirewell, Amber Robles-Gordon, Wesley Clark, and Larry Cook use their powers of ancestral memory to render symbols of communal black instincts within contemporary art in the new millennium. The ability to hear and bridge ancient history with the present and that which does not yet exist, drive the artists to capture transcendental ideas, cultural iconography and the everyday masses of people seeking to survive and transform the current political, social and economic landscape which threatens human beings. The works in the exhibition draw the viewer into fantasy paintings interspersed with digital photography, mixed media portraits, conceptions of human energy beginning with binary code, and a standing installation of lost and found objects to create new storytelling patterns and provide hopeful change in black culture and community.
Delusions of Grandeur came together to articulate difficult conversations of race, class, social access and community through a shared commitment and desire for making new texts out of visual concepts. Wesley Clark constructs fictional artifacts, which he ‘antiques’ from an ability to ‘see’ beyond current belief systems of what is beautiful and conventional. With White neon lettering glowing upon a black backdrop that says, “Some of my best friends are black.” Larry Cook questions if that’s the case by asking the viewer to understand black culture and identity from a place of agency and nonlinear time. In Shaunté Gates’ surreal dream affects grounded in reality based photography, the color red repeats itself in remembrance of fire and sacrifice. Jamea Richmond-Edwards portraits of black women are at once ethereal and bold. Using ink and graphite, featuring bright faux couture patterns made of paper, sequins and textiles against black space, the faces come alive in the frame imploring the viewer to return their gaze and listen to the story being told through the women's piercing eyes. Light, rich color combinations of yellows, reds and blues weave the concepts of feminine and masculine energy to mine the healing terrain of holistic power sources found in Amber Robles Gordon’s work. The science of 1’s and 0’s known as binary code informs Stan Squirewell’s exploration of birth and repetition of three-dimensional vision and sound through standing installations.
The sites of inquiry used by the artists place logical reasoning and sixth sense intuition at the center of shifting dialogue and perceptions of what black culture and community have been and what it’s becoming. Each artist, in turn, puts Faculty at the forefront of thought design, adding another layer of language to the current codes of blackness and representation.
Faculty will run from February 22nd through April 5th, 2018 at Rush Arts Gallery (located at 526 West 26th Street, Suite 311, New York, NY 10001). An opening reception will be held on Thursday, February 22nd, 6:00-8:00 p.m.