Melissa Joseph’s first solo show in New York finds her reckoning with nostalgia and anticipating an era of empowerment for artists of the Asian diaspora. Employing an Impressionist felting process, she adapts photos from family archives onto found materials like raw Indian silk, amate bark paper, carpeting, and pieces of sidewalk.
Née occupies two spacious rooms of Danny Báez’s REGULAR•NORMAL in Chinatown. More than 30 mixed media pieces appear across gallery walls, sprouting from the floor, and wrapped around columns. Temples, sitars, and palm trees recall family memories from India, while embroidered mirrors and pieces of glitter allow more photorealist works to sparkle. Joseph interweaves colorful felted wool to bring out vibrant tones of clothing and home decor, repurposing wrapping paper from a gift to create couch patterns in “Jeanne Caldwell Designs” (2021).
Memories of the artist’s father, who recently passed away, occupy much of the exhibition. She portrays him lying on a hospital bed in “Dad after Mantegna” (2021) — adapted from a photograph resembling the “Lamentation of Christ” (1480) by Italian Renaissance artist Andrea Mantegna. The large-scale collage appears in its own room, cordoned off with a turquoise curtain.
Joseph claims that for all the necessity of identity-based art, she feels compelled to focus on the collective grief of the last year. For all of us who lost loved ones to COVID-19, her work resonates with playfulness and gravity, evoking fond memories while channeling sorrow into tribute. Née therefore ushers in a turning point in the artist’s life, with a tinge of trauma and a lot of lightness.
Melissa Joseph: NÉE continues through May 2 at Regular Normal (41 Elizabeth Street, Suite 701, Chinatown, Manhattan).
This week, news outlets flock to TikTok, New York Times staff strikes, the problem with the phrase “late-term abortion,” and was the North Pole once a forest?
The 11,000-year-old wall relief discovered in Southeastern Turkey may reflect humans’ changing roles in the natural world during the Neolithic Revolution.
The Brazilian artist forced the museum to remove his work from a show about the Black experience, calling it “White man’s theater.”
In an era of fast fashion and sweatshop exploitation, the artist demonstrates how far an industry will go to keep workers out of the picture.
This adventurous theater festival returns in person with 36 artists and companies from nine countries performing at different venues across the city.
Both Don Ed Hardy and Laurie Steelink refuse to adhere to traditional artistic hierarchies, an attitude they have shared throughout their 30-year friendship.
It took over 37 hours to pull 1,900 miles of glass filament to create the garment, now on view at the Toledo Museum of Art.
Learn more about the New York-based, globally linked program and its upcoming discussions on art and society in the time of AI and data governance.
An insidious racism is at play in interviewer Henri Renaud’s attempt to groom Thelonious Monk for public consumption on French television.
The last few years at the museum have not been without controversy, and Decatur will inherit a record of workforce struggles.
The program, along with recently announced visiting critics, will provide long term funding, promote access, and safeguard experimentation for future students of color.
Refugees of the Moria camp in Lesvos, Greece are behind the camera in the film Nothing About Us Without Us.
Helen Molesworth’s true-crime sensation marginalizes the artist’s life and legacy.