New York City’s Claire Oliver Gallery celebrates its reopening with a solo exhibition by Adebunmi Gbadebo titled A Dilemma of Inheritance. The artist draws from two former plantations in South Carolina — both called True Blue — to explore concepts of heredity and the evolution of memory and forgetting.
The central material of Gbadebo’s paintings is human hair. “Our hair is so connected to our culture, politics, and history! It is history and DNA,” she stated. The works portray pigmented, layered portraits, or topological maps, of her community’s history.
“As an artist, I’m confronting my relationship with the color blue, Indigo, and materials cotton and rice in the context of their origins as commodities born of violence and enslavement. I’m interested in the whole system that produced these materials and how its memory has been treated. Furthermore, through the usage of Black human hair, the narratives I’m interested in depicting actually are the work itself.
Check out the sample paintings below and visit Claire Oliver Gallery’s website for more info. The exhibition runs through November 5 by appointment only.