“David-Jeremiah: I Drive Thee” at Clark Art Institute

By Last Updated: June 7, 2024Views: 31

“We sit up for introducing David-Jeremiah’s highly effective work to our guests,” mentioned Olivier Meslay, Hardymon Director of the Clark. “The Clark is the primary museum to current his art work outdoors his residence state and we predict our viewers might be intrigued to check this thrilling new artist.”

“I Drive Thee” is an summary of and conclusion to David-Jeremiah’s cycle of works of the identical title. The Lamborghini has lengthy been David-Jeremiah’s muse—a fascination that’s as a lot concerning the Italian sports activities automobile’s muscular design as its mythology, which is steeped within the custom of Spanish bullfighting. Most Lamborghini fashions are named after well-known preventing bulls and its emblem reveals the animal charging. For the artist, each the automobile and the bullfight replicate on Black masculinity in America, the primary as an emblem of standing and efficiency, the second as a spectacle of energy and persecution. With the collection title, David-Jeremiah imagines a human-bull dialogue about company and urge for food, asking each who drives and who’s pushed.

Along with a brand new, site-specific set up, the exhibition consists of three round panels, also called tondos. Every is 5 ft in diameter and its monochrome, semi-abstract design is rendered in enamel paint and cord on wooden panel. The textured surfaces of every work vary from thick impasto to low reduction; their types are based mostly on the steering wheels of various fashions of Lamborghini as effectively asorchid blossom and collarbone motifs, every of which performs a task within the artist’s extremely developed symbolic universe. Whereas matadors are sometimes granted flowers for his or her bravery, David-Jeremiah imagines a present particular to the bull—the orchid blossom. With their distinctly testicular tubers, orchids are an historical image of virility, at the same time as their flowers have represented fertility. Related dualities outline the frilly, feminized costume of the matador, a paragon of masculinity. The collarbone, anatomy that bulls lack, is for David-Jeremiah like a fingerprint at against the law scene, an indication of human culpability for the bull’s demise. “David-Jeremiah makes formally creative and conceptually wealthy artworks that activate a dime between visceral gravitas and mordant humor. His voice—on the wall and on the web page—is exclusive,” mentioned Robert Wiesenberger, curator of latest initiatives.


Within the “I Drive Thee” collection, David-Jeremiah reads the ritualized violence of the bullfight as a lens on Black masculinity in America, drawing out themes of the Aristocracy, cowardice, and glory. The artist noticed these themes contested throughout his 4 years of incarceration, a interval whose materials constraints formed him into the conceptual artist that he’s right this moment.

The 4 units of seven works that comprise the whole “I Drive Thee” collection are largely in shades of purple, with a contrasting tondo in every set. The Clark’s exhibition represents an summary of the collection by assembling these contrasting tondos—in black, yellow, and orange—from each private and non-private collections.

The black tondo, which seems on the double peak granite wall of the Clark Heart’s decrease stage, stands for the Aristocracy, a advantage prized in bullfighting. A yellow tondo close by represents cowardice, a trait in animals that may end up in both survival or destruction. An orange tondo, within the Manton Analysis Heart’s studying room, stands for the blazing glory of the victor within the bullfight.The centerpiece of the set up within the Manton Analysis Heart is a site-specific set up which marks the conclusion to the I Drive Thee collection. On this new fee, L’Anima, a white tondo, which represents the soul that survives the vanquished bull, has been ceremonially cremated by the artist. Its ashes might be introduced in seven artist-designed urns, modeled on the single-spoke steering wheel of the Lamborghini Athon, together with images and a video documenting the work previous to and through its destruction. The works in “David-Jeremiah: I Drive Thee” are put in in public areas of the Clark and could be seen with out paying admission.

at Clark Art Institute
till January 26, 2025

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