Curated by Adeze Wilford
Hales presents Vernacular Interior – a group exhibition curated by Adeze Wilford. The exhibition explores home as both idea and physical environment through powerful works by nine artists: Beverly Buchanan, Genevieve Gaignard, Trenton Doyle Hancock, Esteban Jefferson, Devin N Morris, Tajh Rust, Curtis Talwst Santiago, Cal Siegel and Becky Suss.
Featuring artists across a variety of mediums, Vernacular Interior explores multifaceted notions of home. Working with the understanding that the concept of a home can have duality, the works in this show consider a house as a site of sanctuary and respite, as well as being a space that can feel challenging and unwelcoming. Home is a site where there are multiplicities. Domestic bliss and familial strife, economic stability and disparity, and gendered constructs are all part of our interior lives. This show seeks to unpack the symbolism of what a structure means and how a dwelling moves beyond four walls and into a vessel for examining a range of human conditions.
Situating a home as a space where intimacy is created, the artists in Vernacular Interior present a more inclusive understanding of what a living space can be. These works approach the idea of home as very tangible site as well as a mythologized place. Looking at both urban and rural locations, the spaces depicted in this exhibition show a range of how we live. From Tajh Rust’s life-sized portraits in city dwellings to Beverly Buchanan’s intimate shack sculptures, Vernacular Interior interrogates who gets to build safe spaces and who gets access to our private lives.
Included are hyperrealist works that aim to portray a specific familial trope, in conversation with works that take a decidedly abstract or fantastic approach to representing a dwelling. Considering building as both a physical place and the act of creating something – a family or a legacy; Vernacular Interior reworks the traditional notion of the “American Dream” of homeownership and instead places the focus on the people and objects that make a home, rather than the edifice itself.
Homes, like people, can’t be monoliths. They serve multiple purposes and can be full of activity or they can be locations for introspection and solitude. The interiors depicted in this exhibition are varied. They are sites butting up against encroaching outside forces like gentrification and they are exploring architecture meant to evoke power and immovability. Desiring to understand how we populate a home with material objects, bodies and memory, the artists in this show are creating narratives around space and personhood as well as exploring site as a place of significance on both an insular and public facing plane.
Interested in exploring the way home can be a fraught place and one that is imbued with nostalgia and family ritual, often in the same day, Vernacular Interior brings together several notions of what home could look and feel like, while allowing for the dual experience of softness and tension that activate dwellings when people are invited in.
Adeze Wilford is the curatorial assistant at The Shed, NY. She was an inaugural joint curatorial fellow at The Studio Museum in Harlem and the Museum of Modern Art, NY. In 2017 she curated Excerpt addressing artists who used text to challenge dominant historical narratives at the Studio Museum and Black Intimacy – a film series at MoMA exploring black love and intimate relationships through the lens of politics. Other curatorial projects include Harlem Postcards F/W 2016/2017 and Color in Shadows, the 2016 Expanding The Walls exhibition at Studio Museum. Prior to this, Wilford was the Public Programs and Community Engagement assistant at the Studio Museum. She graduated from Northwestern University with a BA in Art History and African-American Studies.all images © the gallery and the artist(s)