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Taylor Smalls: She and I, Them and Us
January 30 - February 27Free
Glass Rice is proud to present She and I, Them and Us, Taylor Smalls’ debut solo exhibition with the gallery and co-curated with Sydney Pfaff of Legion Projects. Smalls is a female designer and painter based in Oakland, by way of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Through palette knife painting and her use of highly saturated pigments, Smalls manipulates and exaggerates the visual and figurative complexities of colored skin through large-scale female portraiture. In her latest body of work, Smalls continues this exploration with an intent focus on a feature that has always intimidated the artist in the past; hair.
By using dense layers, texture, and an array of rich hues, Smalls celebrates the endless nuances of skin color by bringing out the underlying tones and colors of Black and Brown skin that the artist has found to be often dulled down – allowing the complexities of their pigments to come forward in a kaleidoscopic manner. Smalls expands on these techniques in the rendering of hair. In the artist’s words, “I wanted to spend more attention on hair texture, on how it moved in certain styles, and simply pay homage to what hair symbolizes within the Black community. I spent time literally braiding paint, laying edges, and noticing these micro patterns and changes in hair textures on a single head that were really subtle and beautiful.”. Smalls spotlights these features even further by enclosing each portrait in a deep matte black background; drawing each celestial figure further out of the canvas.
She and I, Them and Us at its core is a celebration of color and womxn. Her use of strong, saturated, loud pigments are representative of the vibrancy and audacity that characterize the womxn in her life – equally glorifying the many forms womxn come in and depicting them as totems of strength and softness alike.
Join us Saturday, January 30th from 11 am – 7 pm for the opening reception. In accordance with local measures to keep us safe, our gallery will be open with very limited capacity for the opening reception. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a time to see the exhibition. Reservations only. Masks absolutely required and hand sanitizer on entry.