Claire Oliver Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of new work by artist Gio Swaby, I Will Blossom Anyway. The exhibition features life-scale textile works including six self-portraits and a grid work of nine silhouettes. This new series explores the concept of dual identities and the cognizance of “other” experienced by immigrants living in a foreign culture. Through detailed sewn line drawing and quilting, Swaby conveys intimacy and beauty in the humanity and imperfection of her subjects. The artist displays the back sides of her canvases to the viewer as the finished work to showcase the knots and loose threads, which signify the sitter’s ongoing journey of life. In I Will Blossom Anyway, Swaby turns this reflection and loving gaze inward, an introspective view of her own journey. The works will be on view in Harlem May 19 – July 29, 2023.
Claire Oliver Gallery will open its doors to Unearthing Unicorns, the debut solo exhibition by artist Simone Elizabeth Saunders. Unearthing Unicorns showcases large-scale textile artworks that explore the iconography of the famed high Renaissance era Unicorn Tapestries and Art Nouveau advertising through a contemporary Black feminist lens. The artist’s sweeping art historical reframing is rendered in vibrant polychrome hand-tufted textiles that both reference the prized woven tapestries of the Renaissance as well as the more contemporary feminist craft movement of the later 20th century. Unearthing Unicorns will be on view in Harlem March 17 – May 13, 2023.
Claire Oliver Gallery is pleased to announce the solo exhibition Remains by artist Adebunmi Gbadebo. On view January 13 – March 11, 2023, the exhibition continues Gbadebo’s years-long exploration of her ancestral origins centered on the plantation on which her forbearers were enslaved and currently buried, called True Blue in Fort Motte, South Carolina. Gbadebo’s interrogation of this lineage through her work encompasses her signature multi-media paper works crafted from indigo, rice paper, cotton, and human hair, and new ceramic works fabricated from the soil in which her enslaved ancestors were buried. These will be displayed alongside historical artifacts salvaged from antebellum architectural fragments from sites built on the labor of her forebears. The multi-media exhibition will debut at Claire Oliver Gallery before traveling to the Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis throughout 2023-24.
Claire Oliver Gallery is pleased to announce MAKE/BELIEVE a new exhibition by artist Judith Schaechter. MAKE/BELIEVE features six new stained glass artworks presented in lightboxes, installed as a debut exhibition in the gallery’s second floor space. Schaechter employs a centuries-old process of staining and enameling glass and contemporary innovations she has pioneered with engraving and layering panes to produce her epically narrative and brilliantly polychrome artworks. The works in MAKE/BELIEVE reflect myriad current events over the past few years from the pandemic to the BLM movement in Schaechter’s characteristically elliptical imagery that is deeply narrative while indirect in its references. For MAKE/BELIEVE, Schaechter has also designed a custom wallpaper that will be installed throughout the exhibition. MAKE/BELIEVE marks the artist’s eighth solo presentation at the gallery and will be on view October 21 – December 17, 2022.
Few photographers had the insider access Oakland native Jeffrey Henson Scales did around the Black Panther Party in the late 1960s. Capturing intimate portraits and protest images of the organization and its leaders in a time of societal upheaval, Scales’s archive lay dormant and forgotten for 40 some years. Then in 2018, when his mother died and the contents of the family home were sorted, the negatives were discovered.
Join Jeffrey Henson Scales for a celebration of his book and book signing of “In A Time of Panthers”, early photographs by Jeffrey Henson Scales, to be held on September 28th at Claire Oliver Gallery.
Claire Oliver Gallery is pleased to announce When You See Them, You See Me, the debut solo exhibition by artist Robert Peterson. Featuring 13 life-scale oil on canvas figurative paintings, Peterson aims to capture time through his art, highlighting Black family life as joyous, loving, and balanced. So often Black men and women are unfairly stereotyped, and fractured family dynamics are what the media and popular culture choose to highlight. Peterson looks at his work as an opportunity to flip the narrative and shed light on the strength, resilience, and gentleness of the Black community that is hardly ever showcased.
Claire Oliver Gallery announces inaugural exhibition Who That Is? by artist Stan Squirewell, marking the artists’ debut at the gallery, on view March 25 – June 11, 2022. Through a ritualized process, Squirewell’s work examines who curates and controls the narratives that become accepted as history; from what perspective is history written, whose stories are told, and whose are neglected? Featuring more than 15 new works by the Louisville based artist, Who That Is? showcases works from Squirewell’s series While Shepherds Kept Their Watching, the creation of which is a summation of the multimedia artists’ practices of painting, photography, sculpture, and performance.
In perfect timing for Black History Month, Claire Oliver Gallery will open its doors to the New York debut exhibition A Contemporary Black Matriarchal Lineage in Printmaking features 21 works by nine contemporary Black women printmakers. Curated by two artists, founder of Texas-based nonprofit Black Women of Print, Tanekeya Word and member Delita Martin, the exhibition explores the depth and breadth of printmaking through the lens of Black women and their myriad narratives.
Claire Oliver Gallery will open its doors to the spectacular work of Leonardo Benzant in his first solo presentation with the gallery. Featuring six new multi-media works, including four large scale mixed media sculptures and two paintings on paper, Across Seven Ruins & Redemptions Somo Kamarioka is an extension of the artist’s multi-year exploration of his conception of the Urban Shaman, which Benzant deploys a wide variety of media and found objects to create dynamic hanging beaded structures inspired by the Yoruba and Kongo community and the beaded regalia of African material culture. The exhibition will be open to the public November 11 to January 22, 2022.
Claire Oliver Gallery is pleased to announce the gallery’s debut solo exhibition by photographer Jeffrey Henson Scales, In A Time of Panthers: The Lost Negatives. The exhibition features 20 photographs from the 1960s including Scales’ earliest forays as a photographer during the electrifying summer of 1967 when at age 13 with his paternal grandmother he toured the Midwest to see relatives. As a Black teenager, he saw the poverty and oppression of Northern Black communities and when he returned to Oakland, CA became immersed in photographing the milieu of the Black Panther movement in Northern California. The images chart the emergence of his awakening as a documentary photographer as well as a Black man in a pivotal moment in the 20th century that echoes today’s Black Lives Matter movement. In a Time of Panthers: The Lost Negatives is on view September 16 – October 29, 2021 at Claire Oliver Gallery in Harlem.
Claire Oliver Gallery is proud to announce the Gallery’s debut solo exhibition of Bahamian artist Gio Swaby. Both Sides of the Sun is comprised of more than 20 new works that range from life-scale line works, created entirely from thread without the aid of pre-drawn sketches, to small-scale intimate mixed-media textile portraits. Swaby’s work seeks to underscore joy and resilience while showcasing the beauty in imperfection and individuality as a counterpoint to the often-politicized Black body.
Claire Oliver Gallery is pleased to present Love Letters for Harlem, an exhibition of photographs by John Pinderhughes, Ruben Natal SanMiguel, Jeffrey Henson Scales and Shawn Walker. Love Letters for Harlem showcases the talents of these four Harlem-based photographers and their work that celebrates the lives and culture of Harlem. A portion of the proceeds from this exhibition will benefit Harlem Community Relief Fund, an initiative of the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce (GHCC), who in concert with Harlem Week, ReThink Food NY, NY State Assemblywoman Inez Dickens, CCNY, NAACP are working together to combat food insecurity in Harlem.
Claire OliverGallery is pleased to announce a group exhibition Four Now: New Works by Bisa Butler, Adebunmi Gbadebo, Leonardo Benzant and Gio Swaby. The exhibition and a dynamic virtual program of talks and events is designed to telegraph the excitement and energy of Miami Art Week to the gallery’s Harlem headquarters. The program includes a range of conversations between the artists and guest speakers including actor, artist and collector Hill Harper, James Beard Award-winning chef Bryant Terry, Nora Atkinson, the Fleur and Charles Bresler Curator-in-Charge for the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and Dr. Tricia Laughlin Bloom, Newark Museum Curator of American Art. The exhibition will be on view by appointment December 1, 2020 – January 9, 2021 and virtual programming can be joined online at the gallery’s website.
Claire Oliver Gallery announced a reopening of the gallery with a solo exhibition by Adebunmi Gbadebo entitled A Dilemma of Inheritance.
The exhibition will showcase the artist’s True Blue series, which is comprised of more than 45 works that grapple with concepts surrounding heredity and the evolution of memory and forgetting focused on two former slave plantations in South Carolina, both named True Blue.
Online Viewing Rooms have been a welcome and creative way for museums and galleries to connect with lovers of art throughout this difficult time. It has allowed us to visit many more exhibitions and view more artists than we would normally be able to. It has also allowed us to explore works of art out of town, out of state, as well as other countries.
Update ~ In response to the Coronavirus, the Claire Oliver Gallery will show the exhibit by private appointment only until further notice.
Claire Oliver Gallery opens its doors to the debut solo exhibition by artist Bisa Butler: The Storm, the Whirlwind and the Earthquake on view February 29 – April 25, 2020. Butler’s textile portraits of people of color are created from layers of brightly colored fabrics with a multiplicity of meanings. Butler’s composite characters are inspired by historical photography; the resulting images are rendered life-sized with viewers often engaging the subjects eye to eye.
The much anticipated inaugural exhibition in its new Harlem building, Claire Oliver Gallery will open its doors to Almost Better Angels featuring new works by Judith Schaechter on Saturday, January 18th.