A Living Record ( Her Arrival Was Once Steps Taken )
April 20-May 26, 2023
Jessica Silverman is pleased to announce Theresa Chromati: A Living Record ( Her Arrival Was Once Steps Taken ), the artist’s first solo exhibition with the gallery and in San Francisco, running from April 20 to May 26, 2023. On view will be the American debut of one of her inventive bronze scrotum flower sculptures, A Life to be Lived within this Deep Breath ( I am with You as We Take This Step forward ) (2023). The exhibition will also include a suite of new, ambitious paintings in the artist’s signature abstract figurative style. These paintings continue to extrapolate from the source of Chromati’s “central figure”, a conceptual feminine spirit that inhabits each of her paintings in differing compositions and arrangements.
Inscribed with various meditative phrases, Chromati’s bronze sculpture stands freely, transforming a flowering or phallic structure with black petals at the top, moving into a yellow stem and vibrant red at the base. A recurring motif throughout her body of work, her scrotum flower is a kinship network that symbolizes the union of energies and vibrations, balancing delicate, robust, masculine and feminine energies all at once. The artist conceives of these scrotum flowers populating her creative universe as guardians of care for the “central figure,” ushering her forward in her journey of self-discovery and contemplation that balance the tensions and forces that lie within.
New acrylic paintings such as Take another Breath ( come what may ) (2023) show innumerable layers of paint and glitter that celebrate unbridled freedom of movement, fluidity and multiplicity. The presence of the artist’s hand expands upon the beauty of gesture without limitation, with teal and golden strokes that emerge, swirl and coalesce harmoniously against a crimson backdrop. All that is Allowed ( Steps that Continue ) (also 2023) has a similar command of color, with intricate linework and differing hues building off of one another, strengthening the flux of the “central figure.” Each of these works are given an added material dimension with soft silk velvet sculptures that protrude from the canvases, where Chromati places her paintings in dialogue with the phallic element of the bronze sculpture. This is the artist’s first time using silk velvet in these elements.
Similar to the powerful feminine forms in the work of Juanita McNeely and Leonor Fini, Chromati’s work lauds experimentation and pure artistic feeling that, at once, unifies qualities that are complex, fruitful, assured and dynamic. As if to convey the residues of a fluid body, always in motion, Chromati’s work marks conversations between a woman and her past, future, and present, or put more simply by the artist: “A record that she moves.”
Theresa Chromati (b. 1992, Baltimore, MD) has participated in various group exhibitions, including recent shows at the Pérez Art Museum Miami; Baltimore Museum of Art; Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art, New York, NY; Xiao Museum of Contemporary Art, Rizhao, China; A Maze Zanine, Amaze Zaning, A- Mezzaning, Meza-9, David Zwirner and Performance Space New York; the VII Moscow International Biennale for Young Art; and The Extreme Present co-organized by Jeffrey Deitch and Gagosian. Her works belong to the collections of Pérez Art Museum Miami; Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, NC; Rubell Family Collection, Miami; Baltimore Museum of Art; Burger Collection, Hong Kong; Xiao Museum of Contemporary Art; Pizzuti Collection of the Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, OH; The Komal Shah and Gaurav Garg Collection, Atherton, CA; and The Dean Collection, New York, NY.