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The New Bend at Hauser & Wirth
October 27, 2022 - December 30, 2022
Gee’s Bend, Alabama is home to a community of Black quilters who are part of a tradition that began in the 19th and 20th centuries and continues today. The quilters, many of whom can trace their ancestry back to enslaved individuals in the area, together developed a singular aesthetic that has become internationally recognized and elevated the fiber’s medium.
At Hauser & Wirth, an exhibition called The New Bend, curated by Legacy Russel, looks to a new group of BIPOC artists who carry on the fibers tradition, utilizing quilting, sewing, and weaving techniques that are no doubt in part inspired by the contributions of the Gee’s Bend artists. The exhibition takes a craft tradition and thrusts it into our contemporary discourse, with artists referencing technology and politics in their pieces.
Qualeasha Wood’s weaving depicts a woman staring straight ahead, surrounded by browser screens and emojis, a portrait of our multi-tasked digital lives. Anthony Olubunmi Akinbola’s sewn work consists of pink durags that are quilted together, cascading down in rows. Together, the works prove that the traditions espoused by the Gee’s Bend artists are alive and well, and fibers remain a thriving medium utilized by our contemporary makers.
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On view: October 27 – December 30, 2022
Photo: Installation view, The New Bend, Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles, 2022. © Hauser & Wirth Courtesy Hauser & Wirth. Photo: Jeff McLane