Ghalia Benali, Hana Yilma Godine, Dindga McCannon, Ambrose Rhapsody Murray, Wura-Natasha Ogunji, Anastasiia Podervianska, Sahana Ramakrishnan, Alisa Sikelianos-Carter, Nafis M. White
Crystal tears and feathered dress
Dead lover sought by a princess …
She shades herself from moon to moon
Waiting to meet her soulmate soon.
– Ghalia Benali, from She holds her destiny… in a book written by missing hands
Fridman Gallery presents Fabula Rasa, a group exhibition of nine artists from across generations and around the world who create new myths by taking traditional fables as points of departure. The exhibition is a collection of stories, a platform for experiencing the rituals depicted by the artists, an opportunity for the gallery space itself to become ceremonial grounds.
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Ghalia Benali’s mixed-media drawings and genre-defying songs take inspiration from mystical Sufi poetry. Hana Yilma Godine’s paintings on floral chiffon fabrics feature divine female characters from ancient Abyssinian mythology. Dindga McCannon’s quilted sculpture bedazzles a classical bust with shimmering sequins.
Ambrose Rhapsody Murray’s photo-prints on organza scrims framed with hand-carved wood are devotional altars to the artist’s matrilineal ancestors. Wura-Natasha Ogunji’s ink-and-thread drawings on tracing paper depict Yoruba deities – Ochun, associated with beauty, love, sensuality, pleasure, and Yemaya, the god of origins, motherhood, the ocean.
Anastasiia Podervianska‘s quilt retells a Ukrainian folk tale of a serpent attacking a woman and her cow for their milk. Sahana Ramakrishnan‘s paintings reverse the hierarchies often found in traditional Indian miniatures – hunter turns prey, male serves female.
Alisa Sikelianos-Carter‘s celestial silk tapestry of gouache, mica, and obsidian stone embeds within it the diversity of the color black and of the Black experience. Nafis M. White’s large-than-life Oculus combines Black hair, beauty products, and hairstyling techniques with the intricate customs of Victorian Hair Weaving and mourning traditions.
Courtesy of the artists and Fridman Gallery, New York