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Zoë Hopkins

Zoë Hopkins is a writer and critic living in New York, NY. Primarily focused on art of the Black diaspora, her writing has appeared in several exhibition catalogs as well as Artforum, the Brooklyn Rail, Frieze Magazine, Cultured Magazine, Hyperallergic, and Artsy. She received an A.B. in Art History and African American Studies from Harvard University and is an M.A. candidate in Critical and Curatorial Studies at Columbia University.

In Conversation

Felipe Baeza with Zoë Hopkins

Born in Guanajuato, Mexico, and raised in Chicago, Felipe Baeza’s practice draws on collage, printmaking, embroidery, and sculpture. Informed by queer and immigrant histories, Baeza’s largely figurative practice envisions what emancipation and fugitivity might look like for othered bodies. His figures are hybrid, often occupying an unfixed category somewhere between humanoid and plant-like. Situated against densely textured backgrounds, they seem to transcend place or time, breaking free from any domain that we can define or locate.

In Conversation

Tony Cokes with Zoë Hopkins

Tony Cokes consumes media with a singular zeal. The video works which he has become known for incorporate text from a dizzyingly wide range of sources—speeches, books, newspapers, archives, Twitter feeds. Unfolding on the screen against bright, changing monochromatic backgrounds, flashes of text are overlaid with songs from an equally impressive range of musical genres and tones, drawn from Cokes’s wide and deep knowledge of music history.

Teresa Kutala Firmino: The Owners of the Earth (Vissaquelo)

While Firmino’s previous work has been more concerned with social history—engaging the ongoing effort of redressing the violence of colonial epistemologies—the paintings on view at CIRCA Gallery are honed to the more intimate scale of kinship.

Renee Gladman: Narratives of Magnitude

“The line bore its own diacritical mark inside itself as a tendency for waywardness. Line [is] always about to go off like an unheld note,” writes Fred Moten in an introduction to Gladman’s 2020 book of drawings One Long Black Sentence. And indeed, Gladman’s lines are sustained errantry, ambling in all directions and none. Her drawn writings stretch on and on, and her pen sustains uninterrupted contact with the page for what feels like hours, feeding off of its own circuit of energy without pausing for breath.

Charles Gaines: Moving Chains

“The question is simply this: Can a negro, whose ancestors were imported into this country, and sold as slaves, become a member of the political community formed and brought into existence by the Constitution of the United States, and as such become entitled to all the rights, and privileges, and immunities, guarantied by that instrument to the citizen?” This question lies at the heart of the majority opinion written by the US Chief Justice Taney in the Supreme Court’s 1857 ruling on the Dred Scott v. Sandford Case. And on the shores of Governor’s Island Charles Gaines asks this question again.

Barkley L. Hendricks: Portraits at the Frick

Barkley L. Hendricks’s paintings shine with a kind of affect that one is inclined to call “beautiful.” And, indeed, they are. Yet they are loaded with something too tense, too bristling with heat to fit neatly into such a definition: something else is here, too.

David Hammons: Body Prints, 1968–1979

David Hammons: Body Prints, 1968–1979 at The Drawing Center is the first show to focus exclusively on Hammons’s body prints.

Daniel Lind-Ramos: El Viejo Griot—Una historia de todos nosotros

There is a tacit co-dependency between things in Daniel Lind-Ramos’s assemblages. Objects sustain one another in a careful balance, leaning up against each other to form ecosystems of reciprocal uplift.

Otis Houston Jr.

In a new exhibition at Gordon Robichaux, the textures of sociality that charge Otis Houston Jr.’s street performances take up new dwelling in a gallery space.

You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby: The Sapphire Show

You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby: The Sapphire Show is an intimate gathering among old friends. Old and new works by each of the artists represented in the original exhibition flock together in a gorgeous reunion of living and passed on spirits.

Deana Lawson

There’s a way things seem to glow in Deana Lawson’s most recent solo exhibition at MoMA PS1. Crystals and gems tucked away in gallery corners glint with a quiet allure. Frames made from mirrors catch the light and refract it into glowing portals, enshrining Lawson’s photographs and holding us in rapt attention.

This Longing Vessel

The Studio Museum in Harlem’s 2019–2020 Artists in Residence exhibition, This Longing Vessel, was conceived with an uncanny prescience. Decided upon well before the pandemic threw us into a time that has throbbed with longing, the title summons images of empty objects waiting to be filled.

Beauford Delaney: Be Your Wonderful Self

Beauford Delaney’s imagination was ablaze with portraits. Often painting his subjects from the shimmering flight of memory, Delaney’s approach to portraiture was an exercise in deep connection between his own interiority and that of the people he painted.

Frank Bowling: London/New York

Bowling's paintings seem to maintain a sort of liquidness themselves: abstract forms float with weightlessness on the canvases and soft color washes swarm together, mingling in the folds where they overlap and give birth to new tones.

Alaxchiiaahush/Many War Achievements/Plenty Coups, 2014

How should we read these fields of red ink? As analysis? As adornment? As utterance? The convergence of all of this in a decisive act of archival intervention?


The Brooklyn Rail

NOV 2023

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