Source: Wexler Gallery
Exhibition dates: July 9–September 24, 2021
PHILADELPHIA — Wexler Gallery presents Embodied Abstraction, an exhibition that explores the impact of identity and history on the artists, their family, and their environment. Some of the artwork is intensely personal and emotionally powerful, some bears witness and offers social critique. With different points of view and artistic approaches, all of these creators are conveying their message through the language of abstraction. The non-narrative, non-objective artwork invites the viewer to parse the meaning, pick up on associations, and fill in the rest with their own knowledge and experience. Embodied Abstraction is on view July 9 through September 24, 2021 at Wexler Gallery. There will be an Opening Night reception on Thursday, July 22 from 5–7pm.
Malcolm Mobutu Smith’s ceramic sculpture is an amalgam of graffiti writing, comics, craft history, hip hop and jazz. His work can feel playful and improvisational, a flawless confluence of various disciplines and cultures connecting seamlessly into intriguing new forms. However, he also offers cutting social critique, presenting racially charged imagery taken from pop-culture in order to illuminate underlying racism and hypocrisy in American culture. He has leaned into using Li’l Tuffy (himself) as an image/antidote to the hate that has reemerged in this country – with some authority and “ownership” of the character as his own surrogate identity.
This group of artists bridges a generational divide, representing the perspective of a young cohort reacting to the immediate concerns facing contemporary society alongside the voice of experience, artists who have long been contemplating social issues and whose body of work reflects their shifting perspective over time.