Ilana Savdie: Radical Contractions
July 14–Nov 5, 2023
Ilana Savdie (b. 1986, raised in Barranquilla, Colombia and Miami, FL; based in Brooklyn, NY) explores themes of performance, transgression, identity, and power in her vibrant, large-scale paintings. Her canvases assemble fragments into finely detailed, fluid compositions that pulsate with flamboyant color. Abstracted forms conjoin, merge, and blend to create riotous excess. At their core, Savdie’s paintings aim to dismantle ideas of binary or fixed identity and embrace performance as a transformative tool.
For this exhibition, Savdie will present some of her latest work, including paintings and drawings, as well as new works produced for the Whitney. Drawing on a range of subjects and environments as source material, such as the Carnival celebrations that take place in Baranquilla, Colombia, Savdie explores variable textures and forms of mark-making across each of her expansive canvases. Combining areas of stained and blurred color with swaths of thick visible brushwork or smooth, hard-edged marks, she employs acrylic, oil, and beeswax into paintings characterized by their dreamlike illusion yet grounded in the physical body.
This exhibition will be on view in the Museum’s Lobby gallery, which is accessible to the public free of charge, as part of the Whitney Museum’s enduring commitment to support and showcase the most recent work of emerging American artists.
This exhibition is co-curated by Marcela Guerrero, Jennifer Rubio Associate Curator, and Angelica Arbelaez, Rubio Butterfield Family Fellow at the Whitney Museum of American Art.
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