For the third instalment of Inner Visions, Larry Ossei-Mensah introduces hand-finished print editions from Khari Turner, Gisela McDaniel and Patrick Quarm – emergent painters practising in New York, Detroit and Ghana. Together, their works inject nuance and specificity to sweeping-yet-urgent contemporary discourse on identity and representation.
All of these artists have a desire to create work that is more than just pretty – they are creating work that seeks to provoke a dialogue, question the status quo and explore what is possible when one asserts their agency.Larry Ossei-Mensah
Gisela McDaniel: Are you watching?
I’m gifted these stories. People trust me, and I don’t take that lightly at all.Gisela McDaniel
Gisela McDaniel redresses portraiture traditions with luminous paintings that foreground overlooked voices and provide sites for collective healing. The agency of her subjects takes precedence – with every work accompanied by an audio recording of their words.
For more on Gisela McDaniel, listen to her conversation with Avant Arte Chief Curator Gemma Rolls-Bentley.
For this launch, I was drawn to artists that push past a painting being ‘just a picture.’ The use of audio in Gisela’s work makes it impossible to overlook the depth and nuance of her sitters’ stories. Her edition is a self portrait, so in this case the story is her own.Larry Ossei-Mensah
Are you watching? is an edition of 30 self portraits. Drawing on techniques, materials and practices used throughout the artist’s oeuvre, each print will be embellished by hand with shells, beads and neon pink acrylic, and accompanied by an audio recording.
Patrick Quarm: Twilight
When you punch holes through time, what do you find?Patrick Quarm
For Patrick Quarm, painting provides a means to interrogate the multifaceted identities of those – himself included – whose histories exist across multiple, overlapping contexts. Complete with their own complicated lineage, the printed fabrics used throughout his practice embody this hybrid state.
Patrick Quarm is currently in New Haven completing the NXTHVN residency.
I'm drawn to the rigour with which Patrick addresses his subjects, and the layered depth of his mixed media canvases. It’s exciting to see these layers translated into edition form.Larry Ossei-Mensah
Based on a painting from Quarm's personal collection, Twilight shows the artist’s nephew in surreal surroundings as a day draws to a close – hybrid time, space and personhood entwined. Circular holes cut through the upper print reveal a blue or yellow underlayer.
Khari Turner: Rest and Wellness
The water that’s on the earth is the same water that’s always been on the earth. Water holds history.Khari Turner
Memories ebb and flow through Khari Turner’s canvases, which he creates using water sourced from locations of personal and historic significance. Within this action, he acknowledges the ability of water to hold immeasurable history while also existing in the present.
While others address specific subjects, Khari’s portraits are guided by energy, feeling and memory. I appreciate the way he follows his instinct and intuition, and in doing so asks the same of his audience.Larry Ossei-Mensah
Based on an original painting, Rest and Wellness partially abstracts a familiar moment of relaxation. In search of a “sandalwood and lavender candle kind of vibe,” each print has been hand-finished by the artist with sand, paint, strips of African mahogany, expressive charcoal strokes and wax pastel details in a variety of hues.
The edition is accompanied by a poem.
Hearing the sound of a fan blow
cool air on my face,
inhale – exhale.
I think about what the day brings.
My grandparents told me about days like this.
Sitting is a test for a child,
but by choice
a lesson in allowing the small things to linger.
Sunshine is best on days it is allowed to warm
the body and the soul.
And what does it mean to let the soul feel warmth?
Who’s to say?
All I’m doing is sitting
and letting this moment linger