Jamel Robinson | October 2021
We continue our Curators' series with the New York-based artist Jamel Robinson, brought to us by cultural curator Danny Báez. Robinson is a multidisciplinary artist working in the mediums of painting, sculpture, writing, and performance. The works selected for this presentation are part of the series, “There Should Be A Place For Us,” and respond to the urban decay that appears as the backdrop of New York City. In the artist's words, their markings are reminiscent of ancient hieroglyphics, discernible by the Spirit, in the Spirit, and for the Spirit.
The works are part of a series in which they were accompanied by paintings from a larger installation and were created to feel as if they had fallen off of the main painting over time, making their own individual statement. While shapes, forms, and some colors are organic in nature, there are two constants in his work: black and white pigments. The black represents the internal challenges; contrarily, the white dilute the shadows, bringing light to the darkness. Combined, they represent the passage between frustration and breakthrough, artistically and personally.
For the artist, so much of our human existence is about touch. This made Robinson start upon a new body of work in 2018, abandoning brushes and traditional painting tools, and using the body as a catalyst for his practice. In addition to using his hands directly on the surface of the canvas or paper, his work includes an element of drawing and writing.
Jamel Robinson was born in Harlem, New York, where he still lives and works. He has exhibited his work nationally and internationally, most recently at the pop-up gallery The Meeting Point (New York), Established Gallery (Brooklyn), Ivy Brown Gallery (New York), and Gallery Von Schmordenfaden (Copenhagen). This October, Robinson will hold his first museum exhibition at the Hudson River Museum.
Danny Baez is the founder of REGULARNORMAL gallery in New York; co-founder and director of MECA International Art Fair in San Juan, Puerto Rico; and co-founder and board member of the ARTNOIR Collective in New York City. Danny firmly believes in the power of building upon community and has organized various exhibitions in New York since 2010.