Fridman Gallery presents A stranger’s soul is a deep well, a multidisciplinary exhibition highlighting the work of nine contemporary artists: Ambrose, Heather Dewey-Hagborg, Athena Latocha, Abigail Levine, Nate Lewis, Tyrone Mitchell, Wura-Natasha Ogunji, Sahana Ramakrishnan and Matana Roberts.
A proverb coined by Dostoevsky, the exhibition title refers to the innate mystery of the other. The works on view reflect the artists’ respective interior lives, hidden from the outside gaze and detached from judgements and trends. The title also alludes to the deep polarization of society in our time, with two halves of the populace seemingly living on separate planets.
The artists–as mediums–mine primordial, precognitive, emotional landscapes: Ambrose’s layered fabrics depict a psychic dance-like embrace; Dewey-Hagborg renders human DNA visible in the form of holographic and 3D-printed portraits; LaTocha’s sumi and shellac ink washes invoke human psychology enmeshed in wilderness; Levine’s typography of choreographic gestures manifest deeply personal mind-states; Lewis’s intricate paper carvings of bodies in motion diagnose hidden patterns and rhythms; Mitchell’s totemic assemblages reveal connections between disparate materials and forms; Ogunji’s transatlantic diaries, cast in poured brass, turn weightless, fleeting memories into impermeable solids; Ramakrishnan’s vividly physical painting of Muay Thai fighters celebrates the instinctual; Roberts’ pulsating audio-visual dedication to Black women subjected to state-sanctioned violence (installed in the gallery’s street-facing window with outdoor sound) shatters the window-dressing anonymity in which society at large entombs them.
The spot-lit installation will be accompanied online by a single-take film casting the artworks as a procession of characters that lead the viewer inside the artists’ singular worlds.
A stranger’s soul is a deep well will be on view from January 20 through February 20, 2021 at Fridman Gallery, 169 Bowery, NYC.