What Comes After: A Group Show @ The Wassaic Project, Wassaic, New York
From December 11th, 2021 until March 19th, 2022, The Wassaic Project in Maxton Mills will be presenting a group exhibition What Comes After featuring works by LaTonia Allen, Natalia Arbelaez, Taha Clayton, Ashley Epps, Zachary Fabri, Roxanne Jackson, Woomin Kim, Luis Edgar Mejicanos, Dana Robinson, and Kristen Schiele. Curated by Eve Biddle, Bowie Zunino, Jeff Barnett-Winsby, and Will Hutnick, the exhibition presents ten artists throughout the seven floors who are, in one way or another, reflecting on life in the aftermath — no cause, all effect.
The exhibition begins with a monumental collaborative sculptural work by Roxanne Jackson entitled Raw Clay Pop Culture Vanitas. "It feels so freeing and refreshing to build a clay piece that won't ever be fired and that friends and the community can participate in," the artist told Juxtapoz about the alter which was created with the help of 13 artist friends. The creation that was built from 800 lb raw clay, serves as a monument to the death of pop culture, drawing the inspiration from the tradition of vanitas, still life painting, and memento mori, as well as the ongoing influences of the pandemic on our everyday lives. "Thinking about the archival nature of fired and glazed ceramic, as opposed to the more impermanent nature of raw clay, at least to hold particular form, I reflect on a parallel relationship between the clay body and ourselves, our realities, our physical bodies. This piece will dry, crack, and fall apart during the run of the show," the artist stated about this unique installation that kicks off the exciting presentation. Featuring everything from Kristen Schiele's exuberant installation culminating with a shimmering Techno Bunker, Luis Edgar Mejicanos' magical realist paintings, over Ashley Epps' neon works evocative of our past visions of the future, LaTonia Allen's visions of a future where Black women's bodies aren't policed and politicized, to Zachary Fabri's video installation in which space and time are bent in an attempt to dodge police bullets.
Further on, on the fourth floor, Woomin Kim constructed an odd laboratory of sorts, introducing the short-lived crafted materials such as toilet paper, faux fur, embroidery, transformed into long-lived rocks and minerals. Dana Robinson's silken dye paintings which recreate artificial moments of Black intimacy are leading towards the sixth floor, where Natalia Arbelaez offers another magical realist moment with clay sculptures that mine historical research, familial narratives, and cartoon culture to tell stories of loss and gain. Finally, on the seventh floor, a striking large-scale paintings Soldier of Love by Taha Clayton's stands alone in a field of grass and surrounded by white curtains, holding the time still in a poetic face-off-like setting with the viewer. —Sasha Bogojev