New York

Saks Afridi, Sighting #3, 2019, Vibrachrome print on aluminum, 48 × 36".

Saks Afridi, Sighting #3, 2019, Vibrachrome print on aluminum, 48 × 36".

“Utopian Imagination”

Ford Foundation Gallery

Imagining utopia requires a certain leap of faith—and a conscious suspension of our present reality, with all its glaring limitations. That we must cross a literal threshold in order to enter this group exhibition seems appropriate, then. Viewers pass through a curtain of silver drapes into a small, mirrored room, wherein a pair of luscious panels by Firelei Báez—known for creating immersive, painterly environments that overlie evanescent portraits and Baroque Tropicália—are infinitely reflected. Collectively titled Adjusting the Moon (The right to non-imperative clarities), 2019, these works depict life-size ciguapas—mischievous, female creatures of Dominican folklore—who serve as the gatekeepers to “Utopian Imagination.” Dissolving into radiant pools of magenta, amber, and indigo paint, these beings transgress the trompe l’oeil frames that surround and contain them. Like us, they can

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