Sideways / Side Eye (Peach Shape)

Artist: Tomashi Jackson
installation, painting | Silkscreen, oil, and acrylic, on gauze, canvas, and paper | 991x813mm | 2018

Tomashi Jackson’s densely layered abstractions feature found materials—paper bags, food wrappers, vinyl insulation strips, and storefront awnings—many of them with specific autobiographical references. Jackson’s wide-ranging sources also intersect with art-historical, legal, and social histories, often using color materially to encourage meditation on painful subjects. Her three paintings presented in the Biennial focus on housing displacement in New York by exploring parallels between the history of Seneca Village—which was founded in Manhattan in 1825 by free Black laborers and razed in 1857 to make way for Central Park—and the city's current government program designed to seize paid-for properties in rapidly gentrifying communities across New York, regardless of mortgage status. Targeting elderly Black and Brown property owners, the program transfers ownership to developers. Interweaving these narratives visually and challenging the ways in which we see the information she includes, Jackson creates dynamic passages of clashing complementary hues. She also lights her surfaces so they resemble stained glass, refracting image and color cinematically onto surrounding spaces. (Schwartz Art Collection, Harvard Business School, Cambridge, MA. Image courtesy the artist and Tilton Gallery, New York. Photograph by Adam Reich)


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