Harlem’s Trailblazing Claire Oliver Gallery Premieres At Untitled Miami 2021

November 23, 2021

Claire Oliver Gallery is pleased to present a new exhibition Point of Contact at Untitled Miami, Booth C11, November 29 – December 4, 2021. The exhibition will feature new works by artists Barbara Earl Thomas and Gio Swaby, and gallery newcomers Robert Peterson and Stan Squirewell.

Point of Contact features the work of four artists whose practices vary but share a commonality in their desire to reframe the often-politicized Black body.

Featuring figuration across mediums including Thomas’s signature polychrome cut paper, Swaby’s thread line drawings on textile and polychrome quilt portraits, Peterson’s monumental oil on canvases and Squirewell’s mixed media photo collage, each work presents an opportunity for engagement where the art historical “gaze” is reversed and viewers are met as equals.

The four artists use their works as a striking rebuke to white supremacy, eschewing negativity, they uplift by depicting their community in beauty, joy, and power as the ultimate form of resistance.

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Claire Oliver is pleased to announce the debut of five new paintings by artist Robert Peterson.

Peterson’s monumental oil on canvas paintings depict Black people as ordinary and regal, replacing iconographic regalia with the quotient and reframing embellished “crowns” with du-rags and jeans.

His works are homages to the quiet heroism of daily life and challenge the politicized gaze upon Black people.

His figure’s skin tones are rendered in rich polychrome: a joyous and exuberant expression of love of Black skin.

The gallery is also pleased to debut ten new mixed media, paint, and photo collage works from artist Stan Squirewell.

Stan Squirewell

Squirewell’s work is multilayered, and his subject matter tackles themes such as race and memory through mythology, sacred geometry, and science.

He draws his inspiration from theory books, science fiction movies and novels, avant-garde jazz, and indigenous storytelling.

Barbara Earl Thomas

Artist Barbara Earl Thomas is a powerful artistic voice, internationally known for her depictions of what she describes as “the plagues of our day”, this being referred to climate change, political issues, racism and gun violence.

On this occasion, Thomas presents a new cut and hand-colored work on paper titled Lady With Flowers. Her work is currently on view in a solo exhibition at the Seattle Art Museum, entitled The Geography of Innocence as well as in a two-person exhibition at The Henry Art Gallery alongside Derrick Adams, Packaged Black: Derrick Adams and Barbara Earl Thomas.

Gio Swaby

Artist Gio Swaby will showcase six new works including her signature thread line drawings and her polychrome quilted textile portraits.

Her life-scale black women sewn line portraits grapple with the intersection of womanhood and blackness, celebrating the individuality and multi-valent aspects of the humanity of Black women that are often unseen.

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.

Her work is a love letter to Black women: their style, hair, resilience, strength, beauty, individuality and humanity.

Claire Oliver Gallery

Claire Oliver Gallery is located in Central Harlem in a four-story brownstone. For nearly 25 years, Claire Oliver Gallery has showcased and celebrated artwork, with a focus on work by women and people of color, which transcends and challenges the traditional art historical canon.

Our forward-thinking program and exclusive commitment to the primary market allows for an intensive focus that has nurtured and grown the careers of our artists.

Many of the gallery’s artists have been included in The Venice Biennale, The Whitney Biennial, and biennales in Sydney, Pittsburgh, and Lyon and have exhibited works in major international museums including the Smithsonian American Art Museum, The Art Institute of Chicago, Center Georges Pompidou, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, and The Los Angeles County Museum of Art amongst others.

Claire Oliver Gallery artists are included in the permanent collections of many important museums worldwide including The Smithsonian American Art Museum, The Art Institute of Chicago, The Tate Britain, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The State Hermitage Museum, MoMA, and the Museum of Arts and Design amongst many others.

Claire Oliver Gallery held the first American exhibition for the Russian collaborative AES+F, whose work went on to twice represent Russia in the Russian pavilion of the Venice Biennale.

Gallery artists have received prestigious fellowships including Fulbright, Guggenheim, artist, and National Endowment for the Arts.

Claire Oliver Gallery, 2288 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard, New York, NY 10030, claireolivergallery.com

Photo credit (Top to Bottom, L to R): 1) Robert Peterson, Watch Over Us, 2021, Oil on Canvas, 114 x 60 x 2 in. 2) Barbara Earl Thomas, Lady With Flowers, 2021, Paper cut with hand printed color, 38.25 x 40 in. 3) Stan Squirewell, Lil Benny, 2021, Mixed Media Collage with Carved Shou Sugi Ban Frame, 30.75 x in. 4) Gio Swaby, Love Letter 8, 2021, cotton fabric and thread sewn on muslin, 38 x 84 x 2 in.

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