Projects: Kahlil Robert Irving presents an installation of sculpture and digital and two-dimensional works wrapped around the gallery as site-specific wallpaper. Drawing from the vast scroll of digital culture—which the artist describes as “an everlasting feedback loop of my experience”—Irving mines the Internet as a living archive of Black life, death, remembrance, celebration, and survival.
Irving creates dense assemblages of images and replicas of everyday objects. This exhibition brings together imagery ranging from a Facebook post commemorating the late Nigerian curator Okwui Enwezor and a screenshot of an article on Betty M. Wheeler, the founder and longtime principal of Metro High School, a storied “school without walls” in St. Louis; to memes featuring the hip-hop duo OutKast and Kanye West and Kim Kardashian; to visual reflections on American protest and the ongoing dialogue about Confederate monuments. From this cache of images, Irving creates decals and applies them to architectural surfaces in a layered compositional process. These decals also appear on his ceramics, which Irving creates using a labor-intensive technique. Firing individual pieces multiple times in the kiln to achieve his intricate layering of image, glaze, and color, he has forged a style that challenges distinctions between the work of the hobbyist, the artisan, and the artist.
Organized by Thelma Golden, Director and Chief Curator, and Legacy Russell, former Associate Curator, Exhibitions (now Executive Director and Chief Curator, The Kitchen), The Studio Museum in Harlem.