Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Nicole Awai, artist in residence.

Since the beginning of June, New York based, Trinidadian artist  Nicole Awai has been researching and working from Alice Yard on an Art Matters Grant. Her investigations lead her to La Brea and, after all this time, to a puzzling personal story of a childhood school excursion, she recalls, or imagined but actually may have missed.

"...In the last 12 years there has consistently been the presence of an ‘oozing’ materiality in my work. At first it was viscous and lava-like and it manifested itself in the colors red, white and blue. Finally it became a black ooze in the drawing series,  Specimens from Local Ephemera. I began to think of it as a site of simultaneous creation and destruction, becoming and ending where time is elastic and non-linear....Now that my black ooze has become such a vital, physical element in my work, I decided to have the real experience of the La Brea Pitch Lake. I am curious about how the mythology of this imagined space germinated in my head...."
Awai was awarded the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant in 2011. She earned her Master’s Degree in Multimedia Art from the University of South Florida. She lives and works in Brooklyn, New York, and currently serves as a Critic for the Yale School of Art. Her work has been included in several seminal exhibitions, including the first Greater New York: New Art in New York Now, at P.S. 1/MoMA (2000), the Biennale of Ceramic in Contemporary Art (2003) the 2008 Busan Biennale in Korea, Infinite Island: Contemporary Caribbean Art (2007), and Open House: Working in Brooklyn (2004), the latter two held at the Brooklyn Museum. Ms. Awai was a featured artist in the 2005 I.P.O. series at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Recent exhibitions includes her solo exhibition, Almost Undone at the Vilcek Foundation, Mi Papi, Dream On – Happy Ending… ,Washington Square Windows, 80wse Galleries NYU and the Biennale of the Caribbean in Aruba. Be Inspired! is currently on view at the Kemper  Museum of Contemporary. The exhibition features recent acquistions to the museum collection.

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