Art of Our Century presents ‘If You Only Knew’ Curated by Uman




Khari Turner, Self-preservation: an Act of Political Warfare, 2020, 50″ x 38” acrylic, oil, ink, charcoal, ocean water, water from the southernmost point of Manhattan on paper.

Art of Our Century will opens its doors to the group show ‘If You Only Knew‘ curated by Uman, the noted Somali-born multimedia artist. The show is a reunion of friends, and friends of friends of Uman; stories told through painting, photography, sculpture and objects with memories.

The artists included in this exhibition are predominantly self-taught. Their work ranges from portraiture to collage, which embrace both folk and outsider-ish mannerisms, especially evident in the precise use of scavenged materials. They include Denis Arvay, Julius Bustamante, Johnny Cruz, blair dorosh-walther, Richard Lau, Janet Laing, Ruben Lopez, Stephen Nelon, Illest Rated, Roberta Rivera, Ladan Siad, Uman and LA Willette.

Photo: Uman, near Cooperstown, NY, August 2020. Image courtesy Art of Our Century Gallery
“Fifteen years ago I found myself sleeping on the roof of 137 West 14th St.,” Uman says. “Sleeping, painting, and hiding from the streets when I needed a roof over my head. I had met the landlord, Kenny Gutierrez, through a mutual friend, Annatina Miescher. The landlord invited me to store my art work in the building for as long as I wanted. I was an invited guest who had overstayed my welcome but everyone looked the other way as I squatted on the roof and hung out with the construction crew working on the building next door. Through nurture and care from friends and loved ones I began showing my work,”…..Uman

Miescher and Uman later co-founded 137 Artist Collective, in a space one floor below the roof where Uman once slept. Artists from the studio have been exhibited at the Institute of Contemporary Art (London), Ramiken Crucible (New York) and Blum and Poe (New York and Los Angeles).

Uman, Untitled Mural, detail, West Wall, 2nd Floor, 137 West 14th Street, NYC (2017). Image courtesy Art of Our Century Gallery
This exhibit marks nearly to the day the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2015 opening of Uman’s first solo show, at the venerable White Columns gallery, after gallery director Matthew Higgs made a studio visit to 14th Street. That was followed by 35 Years a Black Sheep (Louis B. James Gallery) and The Universe II (Galerie Anne de Villepoix, Paris)


This exhibition of extraordinary new pieces opens September 10th, 11th and 12th; to encourage social distancing, the opening reception will stretch over the three afternoons, from 4 to 7 pm each day.  Wine, and hand sanitizer, will be available to gallery guests at all times. Visitors must wear a face mask

If You Only Knew will be on view from September 10 through October 11, 2020. Art of Our Century is located at 137 West 14th Street, NYC.