ADEBUNMI GBADEBO: REMAINS
Claire Oliver Gallery, 2288 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard
January 13–March 11
“I’ve been dedicated to exploring materials, like rice, indigo, and cotton, whose origins as commodities were born of violence and enslavement,” says artist Adebunmi Gbadebo, explaining that her most recent work is even more intimate and personal. “For me, crafting ceramic vessels from the very land that was once cleared by my ancestors has allowed me to commemorate what they endured and to activate that very land, by using it and shaping it as a way of healing.” The fruit of the New Jersey-born, Philadelphia-based artist’s most recent labors makes its debut in “Remains,” an exhibition that continues her exploration of her ancestral roots, which can be traced back to the True Blue plantation in Fort Motte, South Carolina, where her forbearers were enslaved and buried. Gbadebo’s recent ceramic pieces, fired from red cemetery earth — among them Jane/ Mother of J. H. Lee/Died Feb 15, 1909/Age 85 yrs/Gone to Fairer Land/of Pleasure & Love/To Join the Bright Band of Angels Above, 2021 — are presented alongside signature mixed-media works on paper crafted from indigo, rice paper, cotton, and human hair, including True Blue Sheet 2, from 2019.