Welancora Gallery is proud to present Oasa DuVerney, A World to Live In. The exhibition opens on June 4 and runs until August 6, 2022.
Through a new series of graphite drawings on hand cut paper, A World To Live In, reimagines elements from both the natural and urban landscape as active sites in building solidarity for Black liberation.
In BLACK POWER WAVE: Weaving Helleborine (2022), a double portrait of DuVerney’s daughter is depicted with the figures facing one another, as they seem to talk amongst themselves, while engaging in the cathartic process of weaving Helleborine orchids through their braided hair. The two figures are cushioned and protected by a Black Power Wave. The orchids used in this drawing and the others in the show, (Helleborine, Coral Root, Dragons Mouth, Lady Slipper and Snakemouth) all native to the New York City region, are symbolic of Black womanhood; mischaracterized as difficult, exotic and not belonging but in fact are still here. DuVerney’s signature black graphite, ocean waves appear in the work as an allegorical exploration of the ways in which Black power and Black bodies resonate in contemporary society.
In The Front (2022), the front steps of the brick and limestone apartment building where the DuVerney family resides represent the fulcrum of community in the Black urban landscape; and, a place of transition between the external and internal world. DuVerney reimagines the stoop as a
site for both struggle and harmony, safety and precarity. A socio-political critique of community power hierarchies is addressed in A Growing Veil, (2022), in which chain link fencing appears in the work as a symbol of urban gatekeeping and acts as a framework and accomplice to the wildly colorful orchids in protecting the figures from an exploitive gaze.
DuVerney was born in Queens, New York, in 1979 and lives and works in New York. She received a B.F.A. from SUNY, Fashion Institute of Technology and an M.F.A. from CUNY, Hunter College. Oasa is a visiting faculty member, Department of Art at Brooklyn College and a new faculty member, Department of Art at Cornell University College of Architecture, Art and Planning. Selected exhibitions, residencies and media include: (2021) Brooklyn Hi-Art Machine: Paradise Is One's Own Place, Weeksville Heritage Center, Brooklyn, NY; (2021) Jon Gray of Ghetto Gastro Selects, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, NY, NY; (2020) 2020 Women To Watch, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC; (2020) Twenty Twenty, Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CT; BLACK POWER WAVE, BRIC, Brooklyn, NY (2019); Something To Say, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn NY (2018); The Window and the Breaking of the Window, Studio Museum in Harlem, NYC (2016); The Brooklyn Biennial II, BRIC, Brooklyn, NY (2016); Through A Glass Darkly, Postmasters Gallery, NYC (2012); Rush Philanthropic Foundation Artist Residency (2016), Smack Mellon Studio Artist Residency (2014-2015); LMCC Workspace Residency (2012-2013); The Guardian UK, UK (2019, 2015), The Independent, UK (2016), Hyperallergic (2015, 2016, 2021), Palestine News Network (2013), and The New York Times (2020, 2012, 2011).