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On view now at Lehmann Maupin through their online viewing room are 10 works from McArthur Binion. The Chicago-based artist created this new series light of the COVID-19 pandemic. “It was a really difficult time in the world,” said Binion. “Just as the pandemic was sweeping the country I was beginning the Altar Project and I needed some emotional healing… therefore ‘healing:work.’”
Binion is known for combining collage, drawing, and painting to create autobiographical abstractions of minimalist works. He started out his career as a writer and through this new series he, in a way, goes back to that first via compositions of graphite and ink on paper. This series was created alone in his studio during isolation which was healing in itself because, as he described, “Coming from 11 children with a two-bedroom house…being alone became special to me.”
The series is part of a bigger project that will consist of a site-specific altarpiece painting, to be unveiled in Florence, Italy in October 2020. Although different from his past works in its direct correlation with religion, it still strongly resembles his aesthetic. Binion has developed a very recognizable visual language in which he often uses a hand-drawn grid to layer with personal documents such as his address book, birth certificate, and photographs. In “healing:work,” he utilizes his address book from 1972 to 1992 and his birth certificate.
Up through July 8, and a portion of the proceeds from the exhibition will be donated to Modern Ancient Brown, a foundation founded by the artist himself in 2019 to support the intersection between the visual and literary arts in the Detroit community.