Adebunmi Gbadebo: Remains – Claire Oliver Gallery
By turns heart-breaking and empowering, the artworks in Adebunmi Gbadebo: Remains (January 13 – March 11, 2023) incorporate traces of the artist’s relatives from past centuries and reflects on their lives as slaves and freed people in the United States. There are three sections to the exhibition: ceramics, paper works, and excavated materials from sites associated with her family’s historical narrative displayed across several rooms in the gallery. These objects use a range of materials that directly address aspects of economic, political, and social life in the American South, such as soil from a cemetery where Gbadebo’s enslaved ancestors are buried, used in clay vessels formed with a West African pottery coil technique, adorned with Black hair or grains of Carolina gold rice, a labor-intensive crop made profitable by slave labor. Additional works include elements of indigo, cotton, and rice paper, also combined with Black hair, creating an evocative link between national and local history while honoring family members with the respect they never received in their lifetimes.
Claire Oliver Gallery, 2288 Adam Clayton Powel Blvd (near 132nd Street), Hours: Tue – Sat: 11-6, Admission: Free