A “Slip”: a classic women’s garment, a slinky layer worn against the skin under a dress, usually made of silk and lace. Slips are both tools of seduction and protective barriers that smooth over unwanted attributes. Mimicking the body’s skin, slip knods to slippery meaning: sliding, shifting signi ers of femininity.
The three artists in this exhibition are colleagues and friends who have been in dialogue with each other for several years now. Since studying together at the Yale School of Art, they’ve maintained an ongoing conversation in their studios and beyond, each focusing on intersecting facets of feminine experience.
Tschabalala Self’s work explores the emotional, physical and psychological impact of the Black female body as an icon in American culture. Her sewn canvases deconstruct familiar iconography from pop culture, myths or art history, infusing a Cubist collage idiom with fresh vitality. Sarah Faux paints moments of touch, exploring the complex ways feminine bodies are fetishized as both object and agent within sexually charged situations. In each work, closely cropped bodies emerge from abstract elds of color over time, implicating the viewer in the act of looking. Marcela Florido’s ethereal women and curvilinear forms oat through remembered landscapes from her home country Brazil, calling up feelings of displacement and melancholy. Florido’s paintings explore the terrain of private ction, proposing spatial tensions that are entwined with emotional histories.
All three oscillate from pop references in their palettes and imagery to perceptual depictions of what it means to move through the world in a gendered body. Far from making declarative statements on femininity, race or culture, each body of work slips in its own way. From a symbol into an individual, from a gesture into an image, from preconceived ideals into rich interior worlds.