Rianna Jade Parker

  • Chibuike Uzoma, Mother, Mother…, Times Have Changed, 2022, oil & acrylic on canvas, 72 x 72".
    picks February 17, 2023

    Chibuike Uzoma

    The opening dedication in Chibuike Uzoma’s book To Kick A Stone, published on the occasion of his solo exhibition of the same name, reads simply, “To Grace, my beloved mother.” Grace is thus the intended viewer for this show, which is apt considering that all the works share the same title: Mother, Mother…, Times Have Changed (all works 2022.) Grounded in the principles of Roland Barthes’ 1967 essay The Death of The Author, Nigerian-born Uzoma spurns the logic that a work of art should be critiqued primarily or solely according to the artist’s intent and positionality. I imagine that for a Black

  • Michaella Garrick, Aye, Black Girl (detail), 2022, sugarcane, wood, wire, digital prints, 96 × 96 × 4". From “Sighting Black Girlhood,” 2022.

    “Sighting Black Girlhood”

    The exhibition “Sighting Black Girlhood” opened with two life-size painted portraits of Black women who commanded assembly and set the tone for the show. Tishana Fisher’s Yes, I am BLACK, 2022, portrayed a deep-brown-skinned art student, Ashtaina Stewart, in a purple ombré dress, slumped in a dresser chair in front of a rust-orange sheet. Unpoised and unbossed, she holds a brush to her hair with a limp wrist. On a nearby wall, Camille Chedda’s Portrait of a Young Artist (Abigail Sweeney), 2022, showed another Black beauty, painted in grisaille, standing tall in ripped jeans with her Rapunzel

  • Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Ever the Women Watchful, 2017, oil on linen, 78 3/4 × 51 3/8".
    interviews May 17, 2021

    Night Watch

    A BELATED BREAKTHROUGH, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye’s mid-career survey “Fly in League with the Night” is the first solo exhibition devoted to a Black British woman artist in the Tate’s history. It’s an appropriate backdrop for the painter’s body of work, whose entrancing portraits of imagined characters, painted from memory, meditate deeply on how history is made and unmade. Below, Yiadom-Boakye discusses her path as an artist and writer, the need to build new places of belonging, and the divine powers of watchfulness.

    — Rianna Jade Parker

    Rianna Jade Parker: I’ve told everybody that visiting your

  • Deana Lawson, Axis, 2018, pigment print,56 x 70 1/2".
    picks September 16, 2020

    Deana Lawson

    In Deana Lawson’s largest institutional exhibition to date, the interior landscape of Black lives is once again rendered legible through the New York–born photographer’s signature air of fictive kinship. Under the title “Centropy”—a word meaning the electrification of matter—holograms, found images, 16-mm films, and videos exist alongside portraits and scenes, the largest of which, exceeding one meter in width, are framed within thick, mirrored glass. To look at the sitter, you must also look at yourself.

    My gaze ricocheted across the main room and frequently returned to Axis, 2018, in which

  • Michaela Yearwood-Dan, Join me until the Bitter Finale, 2019, acrylic, charcoal and oil on canvas, 47 1/4 x 66 7/8".
    picks December 24, 2019

    Michaela Yearwood-Dan

    On a typically gray and wet evening in London, I recently found myself letting a breeze of spring colors and textured tropics wash over me. The occasion was “After Euphoria,” Michaela Yearwood-Dan’s first solo presentation with this gallery, showcasing the young London-based painter’s use of palette knives to make sweeping, embracive strokes, and her finesse with contouring gradients across surfaces at once roiling and surprisingly delicate.

    Millennial love and heartbreak, more frequently chronicled in Moleskine journals or Tumblrs, are here mulled over in lush swirls of paint. Pop-culture

  • Jasmine Thomas-Girvan Medicine for All Things (detail), 2016, wood, bronze, glass, silver and recycled wheels30 x 20″.
    picks September 09, 2019

    Chris Ofili and Jasmine Thomas-Girvan

    A twenty-year artistic conversation between Trinidad-based artists and friends Chris Ofili and Jasmine Thomas-Girvan unfolds sparely but elegantly in “Affinities,” an exhibition of recent works that highlight each artist’s recent takes on folklore, rituals, and the prolific Caribbean landscape. Ofili’s latest oil and gold leaf paintings are kaleidoscopic and grand as ever. For Kiss (Odysseus & Calypso), 2019, Ofili puts the Greek king—rendered with dark skin and coiled hair—in a bed of water, entwined with his lover Calypso, here a mermaid boasting teal, orange, and purple scales (she’s described