Chicago-based artist Kevin M. Demery merges painting and sculpture in his works that deal with his own biography, American politics, and African-American trauma. His recent works are a poetic response to authoritarian restrictions on childhood based on race. Kevin M. Demery graduated with degrees in fine arts from the California College of the Arts and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Sakhile&Me is excited to present "Power Lines", a solo exhibition of work by painter and sculptor Kevin M. Demery, at VOLTA New York from March 6 - 10, 2019. In a series of works exploring the interplay between North American history and signifiers of power, Demery develops a painterly language that invites us to move between the potent aesthetic of his work and recurring motifs of historical violence, surveillance, and childhood trauma that are still relevant today. The exhibition is Demery's first show in New York City.
"Power Lines" depicts a selection of ten works, eight acrylic paintings on canvas and two pinewood sculptures, many of them enhanced with materials such as aluminum, conduit pipes, coins, purses, or shoes. The pieces merge the two-dimensional with the three-dimensional to form poetic snippets of history and collective reflection and range in tone from bright primary colors over pastels to black on gold.
The title of the show refers to Demery's mapping of geometric color blocks with objects hanging from ropes or chains that are draped over the canvas. Demery says, "the Power Lines series is originally inspired by seeing electrical lines used to honor deceased members of my community through the hanging of discarded shoes. The work draws on concepts of memorials through racial subjugation, religious imagery like stained glass, and jute rope to replace the power lines."
Kevin Demery (b. 1992) is a 2018 MFA graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a 2014 BFA graduate of the California College of the Arts. Since 2013, he has shown in both solo and group shows across the Unites States and in both public and private art exhibition spaces. He recently participated in two artist residencies at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in Omaha (NE) and the Acre Artist in Residence in Steuben (WI).
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