My Eyes Have Seen

Rico Gatson

Oct 27 – Dec 21, 2018

Rico Gatson

Cotton Planter and His Pickers, 2018

Description


Rico Gatson, who incorporates themes that relate to African-American histories and spirituality, will exhibit new works comprising film, paintings, sculpture, and drawings for his seventh solo exhibition at the Feldman Gallery. The title of the exhibition, My Eyes Have Seen, is inspired by “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” also known as “Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory,” and derived from the marching song “John Brown’s Body.” Sung by Union soldiers, it has an anti-slavery subtext and inspires hope and purpose for the fight.




With his newest exhibition, My Eyes Have Seen, Gatson takes as his subject the complexity of processing the grief of the dark African American past. A theme underlying the unity of the artworks on display is the necessity to “know” even though what one sees is not good. To know is to bring light to darkness which is rendered metaphorically in many of the works.




The exhibition features a projected video, shot by Gatson on a recent trip to Mississippi, which takes as its subject the murder of Emmett Till in 1955. The film depicts the boy’s known route from Bryant’s store to the barn where he was killed to the river where his body was dumped and to the courthouse where the trial was held. The result is a meditative film montage, reminiscent of Gatson’s earlier short kaleidoscopic videos. Gatson invents a visual language that discusses the unspeakable – the murder of a child. The specificity of his journey bears witness, and the film is a station for contemplation.




Two new paintings are Untitled (The Cotton Planter and his Pickers), whose composition combines black bars with the luminosity of light, and Harriet Tubman, related to Gatson’s “icon” drawings which celebrate prominent African Americans. New “icon” drawings will also be on view including one of slain Civil Rights Attorney Medgar Evers who investigated the murder of Emmett Till. Also Included in the exhibition is an installation of colorful painted wood panels that lean against the wall and incorporate collage elements and geometric patterns. They radiate energy and power and function as talismans for good luck and protection. Two free-standing sculptures channel the work of Louise Nevelson and Louise Bourgeois.




Gatson had a one-person show, Rico Gatson: Icon’s 2007-2017, at The Studio Museum in Harlem in 2017. He has been selected to exhibit in the E/AB Fair at the Tunnel, NYC, October 25 - 28, 2018.

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Rico Gatson

Mask Painting #3, 2018

Rico Gatson

Mask Painting #3, 2018

Rico Gatson

Cotton Planter and His Pickers, 2018

Rico Gatson

Harriet Tubman, 2017

Rico Gatson

Eyes and Triangles #1, 2018

Rico Gatson

Eyes and Triangles #2, 2018

Rico Gatson

Eyes, Masks, Slave Shacks and Sharks, 2018

Rico Gatson

Four Stations, 2018

video still

Rico Gatson

Ida B, 2018

Rico Gatson

Medgar, 2018

Rico Gatson

Untitled (Superluminous Supernova), 2018

Rico Gatson

Panel Painting #35, 2018

Rico Gatson

Panel Painting #37, 2018

Rico Gatson

Panel Painting #39, 2018

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My Eyes Have Seen

My Eyes Have Seen

installation view

My Eyes Have Seen

installation view

My Eyes Have Seen

installation view

My Eyes Have Seen

installation view

My Eyes Have Seen

installation view

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My Eyes Have Seen

installation view

My Eyes Have Seen

installation view

My Eyes Have Seen

installation view

My Eyes Have Seen

installation view

My Eyes Have Seen

installation view

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