New York, NY - albertz benda is proud to present Patrick Quarm: SALVAGED IMPERIAL, the artist’s first solo show in New York on view from September 4 through October 3, 2020.
SALVAGED IMPERIAL comprises a new body of work, ranging from intimate portraits to monumental tableaux, that establish a new visual language for expressing hybrid identities. Quarm weaves and splices cultural signifiers from different eras and communities into multi layered works that invite the viewer to explore them from different angles.
“I always think of history as the sedimentation of events,” explains Quarm. “My task or my duty as an artist is to strip each layer after the other to bring clarity; to understand the past and how the past shapes the present.”
This stratigraphic interpretation of history - and by extension, identity - is reflected in the artist’s process and choice of materials: he paints portraits in a traditional western style directly onto collaged and perforated African wax print fabric. In EYE OF THE BEHOLDER (2020), a boy’s reflection and shadow splinter across at least five distinct layers of paint and textiles while two adults look on from the left-hand side. The patterns and figures alternately meld together or obscure one another, creating characters that challenge strict dichotomies between past and present, individual and cultural identity.
The title of the exhibition is derived from Quarm’s practice of “collecting memories,” which he refers to as salvaging: gathering his father’s stories of growing up in postcolonial Ghana, and accumulating his own experiences as a young man navigating multiple cultural and social spheres between Africa and the United States. “Imperial” is a term the artist uses to describe his hybrid protagonists - constantly adapting, merging, and evolving throughout time and history.
About the Artist
Patrick Quarm (b. 1988, Ghana) lives and works between the United States and Ghana. He graduated from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana, in 2012 with a BFA in Painting, before going on to study a Masters of Fine Art at Texas Tech University, which he completed in 2018. Recent solo and dual artist exhibitions include Anansesem at albertz benda, New York, NY (2019) and N'Namdi Contemporary, Miami, FL (2019). Institutional exhibitions include Contemporary Art Museum Plainview, Plainview, TX (2020); Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, Grand Rapids, MI (2020); Oso Bay Biennial XX, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX (2018); Rockport Center for the Arts, Rockport, TX (2018) and Caviel Museum of African American History, Lubbock, TX (2018).