Michael Dango

  • Igshaan Adams, Langa, 2021, paint on wood, plastic beads, glass beads, stone beads, bone beads, polyester rope, nylon rope, cotton fabric, chain, wire, cotton twine, 7' 10 1⁄2“ × 10' 2 7⁄8”.


    THE SECOND OF TWO GALLERIES in Igshaan Adams’s solo exhibition “Desire Lines,” currently on view at the Art Institute of Chicago, contains a tapestry that would appear somewhat conventional, at least compared with the sculptural tangles of rope and gossamer clouds installed nearby. Across a vertical grid of white cords, Adams has woven an assortment of cotton strips, skeins of nylon, wires. The colors are muted sienna and moss, parcels of earth tones, save for the stray flash of turquoise or glint of stone, bone, plastic, or glass beads. Cutting across the tapestry is a bright, elongated X woven


    Content warning: discussions of violence and sexual violence.

    WHAT INSPIRES detached bemusement from a distance—That looks funny, or at least interesting, we might think—can, at a more intimate proximity, become brutish, threatening. This is how we encounter many of the turn-of-the-millennium sculptures and installations by London-based Palestinian artist Mona Hatoum. An egg slicer has been scaled up to accommodate a human body. That same set of slicing wires has been used to replace the base of a baby’s crib. On a kitchen table lie a set of metal utensils—colanders, slotted spoons—that are