Established Gallery presents “Black Matter” a solo exhibition by Tanda Francis and curated by Diego Anaya.
This exhibition is sponsored by Studio 401 New York and TD20 Dean Collection. Opening Sep 9, 2021.
This exhibition will be on view by appointment Monday - Friday and open to the public Saturdays 12 - 6pm. To schedule a private viewing please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. COVID protocols will be in place.
Black Matter is Tanda Francis’ most recent body of work that includes drawings, paintings and sculpture, inspired by considering blackness as a kind of confirmation of being - a persistent and resilient marker throughout creation binding all of humanity down to our DNA. Francis blends mediums and materials such as paper, concrete, metal and polymers, creating a rich environment where she conveys her message of this unifying element facing the possibility of destruction.
“It has been my focus to present the African presence in our public places. I’ve been erecting African goddesses in a period of time where we are constantly witnessing people of African descent being killed in very public ways. Movements such as Black Lives Matter act as a world-wide alert to a rumbling instability in our societies as the world seems to be crumbling around us all. I consider that we are witnessing this ever-present signature of being (blackness) around to attempt to be “rubbed out.”
Francis imagines people observing the objects in Black Matter as relics being viewed through a portal at some point in the distant future. Black objects and traces pulled out of the rubble being held up as gems. Like seeds pulled out of the earth for us to observe and continue it’s story as interpreters and observers answering the question: What is to be gleaned from the marks we leave behind?
About the artist
Tanda Francis is a Brooklyn based artist with a primary focus of creating monumental African heads and masks for public and personal spaces. She is inspired by ancient customs and rituals as a significant means of understanding and addressing our contemporary condition. She uses her work to activate a dialog of universal origin which crosses cultural barriers.
Francis explores digital and traditional forms of art while working and exhibiting her art in solo and group exhibitions locally and internationally. Tanda Francis has created several site-specific monumental public art pieces including BIGGIE (2014), New York City; Everyone Breaks, Riverside Park, New York City (2015-2016); And We Breath (collaborative), Van Cortlandt Park, New York City (2015-2016); Take Me With You, Socrates Sculpture Park, New York City, (2017-2018); Adorn Me, Fort Greene Park, Brooklyn (2017-2018); RockIt Black Queensbridge Park, Long Island CIty, New York (2021). Her work was most recently on display at New York’s MAD Museum of Art and Design and the cover spread of New York Times Arts and Leisure.
My work creates a dialogue of personal and collective identity in relation to society and the things we build around us. I am motivated to create figuratively as a direct means of communicating emotionally and physically to a wide range of viewers. I present my work as a moment for viewers to pause and look within and confront face to face what often goes unseen.
My inspirations are found in cultural history, nature and geometry and the tension created by combining these contrasting elements. Living primarily in urban western cultures I seek to create environments incorporating nature and the human form as an opportunity to engage, interpret and learn from the act and outcome of creating.