Awilda Sterling-Duprey: 
. . . blindfolded

Since 1980, Puerto Rican artist and performer Awilda Sterling-Duprey’s (b. 1947) four-decade career has been influenced as much by Afro Cuban religious dance traditions as by the composer John Cage and musician John Coltrane. Her dance-drawings, a series of works begun in 2020, involve her blindfolding herself to make intense jittery, abstract marks on paper and walls in response to jazz improvisation. 

Sterling-Duprey has explained: “In the moment, while making those images, I don’t have a sense of what I am doing, but I am enjoying grasping the concept. Abstraction gives me that openness and that freedom; from there, I can go further, be riskier in how I work. I have been forcing my brain to push ideas for so long that I don’t need to see what I am doing. To me, this is what is most abstract. Precisely because this information is encapsulated in my body, I don’t have to see what I am building on. I just have to feel it first.”

Sterling-Duprey’s performance of . . . blindfolded took place in the midst of the Biennial installation. Visitors will encounter the product of Sterling-Duprey’s performance alongside video documentation of the artist performing another iteration of the work.

View all performances in the 2022 Whitney Biennial.