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Hank Willis Thomas at Kayne Griffin Corcoran

On view: January 18–March 7, 2020

In the grassy courtyard of Kayne Griffin Corcoran in Mid City, a Dukes of Hazzard replica car is upturned, balancing on its front bumper. The confederate flag is painted on its roof, and the words “General Lee” are prominent, recalling so many confederate monuments that have been recently questioned and dismantled. This sculpture is part of Hank Willis Thomas’ An All Colored Cast, an exhibition that plays off various color references: race relations, technicolor, and art history. Finding nexus between these three elements, his wall works are photographic stills culled from Hollywood and printed on colorful reflective acrylic. Some compositions resemble Joseph Albers’ seminal color theory, and others are made to look like television color tests. The photographs are only visible with the use of flash photography from the viewer—the works otherwise appear as chromatic color studies. Through his references, Williams teases out the critical tensions in each. Social politics, much like color theory, can change depending on how you look at them.