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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).
Poussin and the Dance is a valiant attempt to break into Poussin’s staunchly academic oeuvre and provide a relatable point of entry, highlighting the exciting elements of revelry and movement despite impenetrable and unemotional rendering.
Anarchist illustrator N.O. Bonzo produces decentralized media in a highly bureaucratic cultural landscape. Their illustrations, murals, and literature emerge in unexpected places, from the streets of Portland, Oregon, to the far ends of Reddit and Twitter, addressing relations of labor and identity in the workplace and on the streets. Growth and care are central themes…
This exhibition explores how images of the human body were used to provoke profound physical and emotional responses in viewers from the 15th through 18th centuries.
With scavenged materials, Amanda Maciel Antunes constructs a motherland.
Where are the directors taking the stage to acknowledge workers’ demands today?
The collaborative handmade paper- and printmaking center at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts publishes new works by Liz Collins and Sarah McEneaney.
There is a debate whether the memory of Little Syria should be seized upon to tell truthful and positive stories about Arabs in the US, or whether any conflation between its history and contemporary politics is inappropriate.
The profile includes works by Egon Schiele, Amedeo Modigliani, Peter Paul Rubens, and a prehistoric Venus of Willendorf figurine.
These horrifying dolls definitely won’t murder you in your sleep.