Nova Sector, Booth N19
Anat Ebgi is pleased to present works by Jordan Nassar and Cosmo Whyte at Art Basel Miami Beach. Both Nassar and Whyte allow decorative remnants from a colonial history to seep into the aesthetic decisions of their works, allowing the pieces to question and critique identity construction and the representation of colonized and migrant peoples.
The artists follow the trajectory of craft tied to cultural lineages and incorporate these elements in their practice as self-identifying members of diasporas. Nassar’s usage of a traditional form of Palestinian embroidery aligns with his practice with the native history of the region. Whyte’s works on paper contrast Nassar’s by highlighting the syncretic forces of colonization.
Nassar will present a suite of landscape and geometric patterned works which directly reference embroidery symbology of a group of bereaved Palestinian women he works very closely with in the West Bank. Made in direct collaboration with them, this series comprises of works with large sections made entirely by the women, who leave open windows in the embroidery in which Nassar follows their patterning and aesthetic color decisions to make his undulating landscapes. This installation presents the dialogue between Nassar’s own embroidery and its connection to the site and women of Palestine.
Whyte will present a new series of large-scale drawings and a sculptural installation. The works on paper are created with layers of charcoal depicting black bodies obscured with distortion and excessive limbs. Sections of the paper are cut into Spanish lace patterning, and adorned with gold and pitch black glitter. The compositions are based on photographs the artist took of West Indian Carnival, Jouvert, as it is performed in the diasporic communities of Miami. The sculptural installation entitled The Enigma of Arrival in Four Sections: Carry On is comprised of airplane seats reupholstered in a domestic chintz fabric, the tops of which are draped with Spanish lace. The almost allegorical installation reimagines the tumultuous passage of displaced and migrant peoples.
Jordan Nassar (b.1985, New York, NY) earned his BA at Middlebury College in 2007. His work has been featured in solo and group exhibitions globally at institutions including the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; Museum of Arts and Design, New York, NY; Katonah Museum of Art, Katonah, NY; James Cohan Gallery, New York, NY; and The Third Line, Dubai, UAE. Nassar is the subject of two institutional solo exhibitions in 2019. Jordan Nassar: Between Sky and Earth is Art@Bainbridge at Princeton University’s inaugural exhibition and his major solo exhibition The Sea Beneath Our Eyes opened at the CCA – Center for Contemporary Art Tel Aviv in September 2019. Nassar is in the permanent collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; Marciano Foundation, Los Angeles, CA; Rhode Island School of Design Museum, Providence, RI; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY, where he is included in the current exhibition Making Knowing: Craft in Art 1950 – 2019. Nassar lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
Cosmo Whyte (b. 1982, St. Andrew, Jamaica) received a BFA from Bennington College, VT and an MFA from Maryland Institute College of Art, MD. He has exhibited work widely within the United States, Jamaica, Norway, France and South Africa. Whyte has won many awards including the Forward Art Emerging Artist of the Year Award (2010), the International Sculpture Center’s Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture (2015), Vermont Studio Residency Full Fellowship (2015), and an Artadia Award (2016). In 2016 he participated in the Atlanta Biennial, and in the recent 2017 Jamaica Biennial. He recently opened a solo exhibition of his work at MOCA Georgia, Beneath Its Tongue, The Fish Rolls The Hook To Sharpen Its Cadence, curated by Allison Glenn, Associate Curator of Contemporary Art, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Whyte is the Visual Art Program Director at Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA where he lives and works.