“Un/Common Proximity,” a group exhibition by the 2020-2021 NXTHVN Studio Fellowship artists, is on view at James Cohan in New York through August 13. Participating artists include Allana Clarke, Alisa Sikelianos-Carter, Daniel T. Gaitor-Lomack, Esteban Ramón Pérez, Jeffrey Meris, Ilana Savdie, and Vincent Valdez.
The title of the show refers to the artists’ atypical year of living and working during a tumultuous election, global pandemic, and national reckoning of systemic racial injustice. All seven studio fellows are continuing their practices under NXTHVN, where they actively respond to challenges of the past year with creative work.
Newly co-Founded by Titus Kaphar and Jason Price, NXTHVN is a national arts model that engages emerging artists and curators through education and access, as well as accelerating professional artistic careers.
Clark uses cocoa butter and hair bonding glue to create her sculpture Relentless. These materials are not only related to Black personhood, but also signify the subscription to western standards of beauty. Clarke creates a metaphor to free herself from the violent compartmentalization of Black identity.
Valdez taps into his personal accounts and reveals conformity to distorted myths and realities in our society. His painting and drawings examine repeating patterns of racist, classist, and xenophobic histories.
Themes such as race and heritage, resistance and protest, identity and beauty standards are explored through multidisciplinary works, including drawings, paintings, sculptures, and installations.