Dec 18, 2021—May 1, 2022
Projects: Kahlil Robert Irving presents an installation of sculpture, digital, and two-dimensional work wrapped around the gallery as site-specific wallpaper. Drawing from the vast scroll of digital culture—which the artist describes as “an everlasting feedback loop of my experience”—he mines the internet as a living archive of Black life, death, remembrance, celebration, and survival.
Irving creates dense assemblages of images and replicas of everyday objects. This exhibition brings together imagery ranging from a Facebook post commemorating the late Nigerian curator Okwui Enwezor and a screenshot of an article on Betty M. Wheeler, the founder and longtime principal of Metro High School, a storied “school without walls” in St. Louis, to memes featuring hip-hop duo OutKast and Kanye West and Kim Kardashian, to visual reflections on American protest and the ongoing dialogue about Confederate monuments. From this cache of images, Irving creates decals and applies them to architectural surfaces in a layered compositional process. These decals also appear on his ceramics, which Irving creates using a labor-intensive technique. Firing individual pieces multiple times in the kiln to achieve his intricate layering of image, glaze, and color, he has forged a style that challenges distinctions between the work of the hobbyist, the artisan, and the artist.
Organized by Thelma Golden, Director and Chief Curator, with Legacy Russell, former Associate Curator, Exhibitions (now Executive Director and Chief Curator, The Kitchen). This exhibition is part of a multiyear partnership between The Studio Museum in Harlem, The Museum of Modern Art, and MoMA PS1.
The exhibition is free and open to the public without a ticket (at limited capacity). Visitors can enter at street level, and must go through a temperature and bag check before heading to the galleries. Masks are required for all visitors. More information about how to visit safely can be found on MoMA's website.
Artist Bio: Kahlil Robert Irving (b. 1992, San Diego, CA) is an artist currently living and working in the USA. He attended the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Art, Washington University in St. Louis (MFA fellow, 2017); and the Kansas City Art Institute (BFA, art history and ceramics/sculpture, 2015). His work has been exhibited at the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, Kansas; the Arizona State University Art Museum, Tempe, Arizona; and the Rhode Island School of Design Museum, Providence, Rhode Island, among others.
Currently, Irving is presenting a group of new sculptures in the New Museum Triennial Soft Water Hard Stone, co-curated by Jamillah James and Margot Norton. Irving was recently awarded the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Grant and the Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant. In 2018, Irving’s first institutional solo exhibition took place at Wesleyan University’s Center for the Arts, Middletown, Connecticut, and was accompanied by a full-color catalogue with essays and an interview. He is currently presenting a large-scale commission in the lobby of the Contemporary Art Center, Cincinnati, Ohio. Irving's work was also featured in the exhibitions Making Knowing: Craft in Art, 1950–2019 and Nothing Is So Humble: Prints from Everyday Objects at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. His work is in the collections of the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, Kansas; the RISD Museum, Providence, Rhode Island; the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.
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