Featuring the artist’s signature style of found frames and stacked images from his private archive, Todd Gray: Crossing the Waters of Space, Time, and History considers the impacts of colonialism on Black consciousness. Gray’s recent photographic, yet sculptural compositions obscure, expose, and connect images of contemporary culture and nature to express hidden relationships in the legacies of African enslavement, colonialism, and inequity. With studios in Los Angeles and Akwidaa, Ghana, the artist probes colonial paradigms by juxtaposing everyday people with celebrities, rural South African landscapes with formal European gardens, and far-flung galaxies that hold infinite possibilities and desires.
Crossing the Waters of Space, Time, and History continues Gray’s investigations into the social and historical construction of how aspects of imperial gardens serve as physical and aesthetic manifestations of European reason and oppression. Gray’s images illuminate the constructed duality of land and culture, body and spirit to reveal inherent complexities of lived Black experiences. Gray’s images become physical and psychological representations of the tenuous experiences of Black people around the world, thereby offering viewers an opportunity to confront and reconcile tragedies of the past.
As an added bonus, this exhibition debuts three new works and some of the artist’s personal sketches, features a curated selection of books, and an artist’s playlist.
Image credit: Todd Gray, Parisian Hoods in Bamboo Village, 2019, Two archival pigment prints in artist’s frames. Courtesy of the artist, David Lewis, New York, and Meliksetian | Briggs