Stephen Friedman Gallery is delighted to current Deborah Roberts’ second solo exhibition at the gallery, I have one thing to explain to you.
The exhibit functions new paintings dominated by black backgrounds and some of the greatest performs the artist has ever built. At the same time highly effective and vulnerable, heroic and insecure, Roberts’ subjects expose how systemic racism, gender politics and western attractiveness benchmarks shape the way Black children increase up. Amongst the references that notify the series are prominent incidents of racism in the United kingdom, which includes the recent situation of Child Q.
By mastering collage – a medium used since the early twentieth century to obstacle socio-political norms – Roberts exposes the inequities and violence of present-day society. Composing is effective using located components from the world wide web, literature and photographs, the artist deconstructs stereotypes perpetuated by mainstream visible culture. Roberts juxtaposes these with hand-painted specifics, combining a vary of skin tones, facial capabilities, hairstyles and clothing to embrace an expansive check out of Black id.
Roberts continues her investigation into the psychological load that Black youngsters bear by highlighting their absence of visibility. Refined variants in pores and skin tone render Roberts’ figures hardly discernible, drawing the viewer in closer to acknowledge their presence. This is emphasised by her sparse use of line, alluding to the chalk outlines drawn all over bodies in criminal offense scenes.
Roberts also attracts on Western art background to critique existing racial injustices. The twisted poses of her figures recall Egon Schiele’s contorted human types, addressing the violence inflicted on Black persons forcibly arrested by the law enforcement. Roberts references Picasso’s Black Period and his reluctance to accept the influence of African artwork on his own practice. She as an alternative champions the so-called ‘primitive’ African styles appropriated by Picasso, allowing them stand out in the clothing worn by several of the children.