In Tease, The Nigerian-born Marcia Kure merges tribal Uli painting and surrealism.
This is the second exhibition of Marcia Kure‘s work at this Chelsea gallery. For her latest show Tease, Ms. Kure expanded her visual vocabulary to incorporate works on paper (watercolors and collages) as well as a series of objects free-standing or placed on shelves throughout the gallery. All works are highly tactile, urging the viewer to examine each and every one of the objects with utmost care.
As Susan Inglett, Director of Susan Inglett Gallery explains, Kure’s watercolors are influenced by the traditional Nigerian Uli painting, a technique that is most widely used by the Ibo people of Southern Nigeria. We learn also that Kure’s work is equally influenced by the medium itself and the artist uses a series of unconventional elements, like red wine and kola (or cola) nuts to arrive at a specific color.
Although the technique may recall traditional African painting, the artist’s imagery is a product of her European and American upbringing so much so that throughout her watercolors and collages classic Surrealist influences are hard to miss. Those familiar with the movement and its principal genres will quickly see references to the game of Exquisite Corpse, subtle elements of automatic drawing and of course the collage itself. Practically every work on view is an example of seamless confluence of African traditional techniques and western cultural references.
The exhibition showcases Marcia Kure’s deeply intuitive understanding of materials, media, color and the balance between the positive and negative space.
“Tease” is a place of possibility, a space of becoming; it is an unsettling, off-kilter space, not unlike the world outside. It is at the moment of our greatest discomfort when we are compelled to ask the most important questions about our lives, and our world. “Tease” is that place. – Marcia Kure
Interview transcript on page 2
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