Indepth Arts News: |
"Paintings on Paper Featuring The Work of Laylah Ali"
2000-11-09 until 2001-01-28
North Adams, MA,
USA United States of America
Paintings on Paper is an exhibit of small-scale works
(1996-1999) by provocative Boston-based artist Laylah Ali. Ali's comic book-like figures, genderless with bulbous green heads and a
variety of pared down uniforms, are depicted in the midst of mysterious
unfolding dramas. At first glance her Greenheads are colorful and inviting
like illustrations from a comic strip or children's book. Upon closer
examination though, the disturbing narratives become clear.
This African-American artist, born in 1968, has created surreal figures
that seem to have undergone numerous cultural and racial permutations. Ali's
enigmatic narratives, with so many details left unsaid, are each easily
applied to any number of historical time periods worldwide. From Nazi
Germany to the Salem witch trials to domestic and school violence, Ali's
cartoonish figures offer not just an oddly timeless picture of history, but
also a mirror of the present and a foreboding vision of the future.
Ali received a master of fine arts degree in painting from Washington
University, St. Louis, in 1994 and also attended the Whitney Museum
Independent Study Program. She has had solo exhibits at 303 Gallery in New
York, Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art, Miller Block Gallery in Boston,
and Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, Buffalo. Her group exhibits include
Exit Art, the Drawing Center, Yerba Buena Gardens, and Boston Center for the
MASS MoCA, the largest center for contemporary visual and performing arts in
the United States, is located at 87 Marshall Street in North Adams on a
13-acre campus of renovated 19th-century factory buildings. MASS MoCA's
galleries are open 11 - 5, closed Tuesdays. Admission is $6 adults, $4
seniors and students, $2 children under 16, free to children under 6 and
free to members at all times.