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June 1, 2018 to September 23, 2018

Wallach Art Gallery
Lenfest Center for the Arts
615 West 129th Street
New York, NY

Wallach Art Gallery

Relational Undercurrents: Contemporary Art of the Caribbean Archipelago

Relational Undercurrents is the first major survey of twenty-first century art of the Caribbean. It employs the archipelago as an analytical framework, focusing on locating thematic continuities in the art of the Caribbean islands, placing Hispanophone artists in visual conversation with those from Anglophone, Francophone, Dutch, and Danish backgrounds.

Relational Undercurrents works against traditional understandings of the Caribbean as discontinuous, isolated, and beyond comprehension as a result of heterogeneous populations, multiple linguistic traditions, and diverse colonial histories. Instead, Relational Undercurrents is divided into four sections: Conceptual Mappings, Perpetual Horizons, Landscape Ecologies and Representational Acts. Each grouping features artists whose works have informed and shaped those themes. Relational Undercurrents includes painting, installation art, sculpture, photography, video, and performance.

It is accompanied by a lavishly illustrated catalogue with essays by curators, critics, and scholars that discuss particular artistic traditions in Cuban, Puerto Rican, Dominican, and Haitian art, and theorize the broader decolonial and archipelagic conceptual frameworks within which such works are produced. The catalogue is coedited by Flores and Michelle Ann Stephens, Professor of English and Latino and Caribbean Studies at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. Stephens is coeditor of Archipelagic American Studies, also published by Duke University Press.

Image: David Gumbs, Water and Dreams, 2014. Digital video still. Courtesy of the artist.