LEHMANN MAUPIN introduced its illustration of Calida Rawles. Based mostly in Los Angeles, she is acknowledged for her pictures of Black males, girls, and younger folks submerged and floating in waves of pool water. Mixing hyper-realism and abstraction, every of the work is grounded in areas of gorgeous, deep blue coloration. Drawing on the symbolism of water, the works are imbued with profound spirituality and freighted historical past.

The information was introduced on Feb. 18. Rawles’s first solo exhibition in New York will open at Lehmann Maupin in September 2021.

“After I first noticed Calida’s work, I used to be mesmerized. Her course of, which incorporates pictures and even components of efficiency artwork, pushes the boundaries of portray as a medium,” David Maupin mentioned in a press release. “Calida is a part of an essential era of artists who’re difficult conventional narratives and reshaping our discourse round magnificence, energy, and id.”

“Calida is a part of an essential era of artists who’re difficult conventional narratives and reshaping our discourse round magnificence, energy, and id.” — David Maupin

In fall 2019, Rawles illustrated the duvet of Ta-Nehisi Coates’s first novel, “The Water Dancer.” The e-book was a New York Occasions bestseller and Oprah’s E-book Membership Choose, exposing her apply to a brand new and wider viewers. A number of months later, she participated in Frieze Los Angeles. The February 2020 artwork truthful introduced a dialog between Rawles and Coates about her work and his e-book, sponsored by Frieze and the Los Angeles County Museum of Artwork (LACMA). On the identical time, VSF devoted its complete sales space at Frieze to Rawles’s work.

A GRADUATE OF SPELMAN COLLEGE in Atlanta (1998), Rawles earned an M.A. from New York College (2000). She has been included in a number of group exhibitions. Solo reveals of her work have been introduced by VSF (“A Dream for My Lilith”) and Customary Imaginative and prescient (a public artwork set up), each in Los Angeles in 2020.

This fall, Rawles will unveil a everlasting set up on the new Hollywood Park/SoFi Stadium campus in Inglewood, Calif. House to 2 NFL groups—the Los Angeles Rams and the Los Angeles Chargers—the stadium is internet hosting Tremendous Bowl LVI in 2022, and staging the opening and shutting ceremonies of the Olympic Video games in summer time 2028.

Her work is represented in private and non-private collections, together with The Studio in Harlem and LACMA. “The Area in Which We Journey” (2019) is showcased in LACMA’s present exhibition “View From Right here: Latest Acquisitions.” Her collaboration with Coates continues to yield alternatives, too. “The Water Dancer” is being made right into a function movie (produced by MGM, Plan B, and Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Movies) with Rawles is serving as a guide on the undertaking.

Lehmann Maupin has places in London, Seoul, and Hong Kong, and opened a seasonal house in Palm Seaside, Fla., throughout winter 2020/21. The gallery has a roster of almost 40 artists, together with McArthur Binion, Nicholas Hlobo, Arcmanoro Niles, Nari Ward, and Billie Zangewa. Rawles will proceed to be represented by her Los Angeles gallery, Numerous Small Fires (VSF), which additionally has a location in Seoul.

THE PAST SEVERAL YEARS in America, 2020, specifically, have been economically, politically, and socially difficult. Rawles’s work is alluring and attuned to the occasions—evoking emotion, drama, and stress; representing freedom and company, a way of abandon and launch.

About seven years in the past, she realized to swim. She discovered nice calm within the rhythm of swimming laps and finally questioned how the expertise may translate on canvas.

“All of it facilities on my private exploration,” Rawles advised artnet Information final 12 months. “I’m going to take you on a experience as I attempt to work by means of this layered expertise whereas portray this galaxy-like water world that’s dazzling and dream-filled. I wish to discuss these tough, divisive points, however I additionally need the work to be seductive. I’m going to color you one thing lovely and I’m going to cover some stuff up in there. I by no means thought making this work can be about instructing my historical past. However it is, and I believe that’s a wonderful and vital factor.” CT


TOP IMAGE: Calida Rawles. | Photograph by Glen Wilson


FIND MORE about Calida Rawles on her web site

READ MORE about Calida Rawles in a latest artnet Information profile


CALIDA RAWLES, “Radiating My Sovereignty,” 2019 (acrylic on canvas, 84 x 72 inches
213.4 x 182.9 cm). | Courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong, Seoul, and London


Calida Rawles illustrated the duvet of “The Water Dancer,” the bestselling first novel by Ta-Nehisi Coates, creator of the extremely acclaimed “Between the World and Me,” amongst different books.


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