Dark Silhouette: Composition of Borrowed Inlets #2

Artist: Matthew Angelo Harrison
installation | Wooden sculpture from West Africa, polyurethane resin, anodized aluminum, acrylic | 1537x584x425mm | 2018

Matthew Angelo Harrison combines various materials, technologies and found objects to create hybrid forms that address our increasingly globalized, technology-mediated selves, with reference to the relations between African and African American culture and identity, a concept he calls “abstracted ancestry.” While some of the artifacts he uses are authentic antiquities from specific tribes, others were mass produced for sale abroad, and still others are of unknown origin—a reality that acknowledges both the enduring market for such objects and the ways colonial collecting practices erase particular identities. Complicating perceptions, at first glance, his sculptures may resemble sleek, luxurious, midcentury forms, but they often turn out to be something else entirely. The worked surfaces containing suspended objects simultaneously deny access and give visual form to the refracted histories of the objects themselves. (Image courtesy the artist and Jessica Silverman Gallery, San Francisco. Photograph by Paul-David Rearick)


Whitney Biennial 2019 | 2019.05.17 - 2019.09.22 | Whitney Museum of American Art(New York City, NY, United States)