Zidoun-Bossuyt Gallery is pleased to present the second solo exhibition of American artist Noel W. Anderson.

Make Me Come Out Myself

“Titled after an African American saying used to express a warning - “Don’t make me come out myself” - “Make Me Come Out Myself” Imagines the NBA basketball court as a stage of bodily transgression. Informed by a nascent interest in magic in popular culture (stage tricks) and African American spiritual practices (magic-religious) black male bodies in this arena achieve the supernatural. In “Richard Potter Off the Goldwire” Michael Jordan’s body stretches beyond conventional ways.

In addition, I seek to exploit the historical relationship between weaving as a predecessor to television and power’s use of distorted images to organize society. The basketball arena is a metaphor for a more general sense of social order.”

What happens when you upend an image?

Applying this very simple question to an image of NBA Hall of Famer or NBA great players dribbling a ball, revealed their shadows as a reflection. Noel W. Anderson is thinking about this shadow the way author Ralph Ellison in Invisible Man and theorist Franz Fanon discuss the non-being of black people’s being like a shadow. This work is about realizing a certain kind of spiritual, supernatural, magical power of black male subjects and bodies through the process of inversion.

From tattered old rugs to mechanically-produced tapestries, Anderson embeds a spectrum of fibers with found images and physical usage just long enough to fray their edges and challenge their legibility.

Working with a team of weavers, Anderson appropriates, manipulates, and weaves images into a series of tapestries. Upon completion, he labors over each thread, distressing, dyeing, and collaging the weavings. Anderson suspends a number of mediums evident in his works including, photography, painting, printmaking, and sculpture. The masking of these mediums alludes to historical subjugation of black bodies, as well as Anderson’s treatment of subjects, found images, and meaning. Distressing and dyes are techniques employed to further complicate the viewing experience. In some instances, images blur as the tapestry fibers optically blend from distressing. In other cases, images dissolve and emerge from fields of ambient color.

The exhibited works attempt to locate an elusive black essence by way of images which, for Anderson, “evoke moments where racial recognition is heightened,” but resolution is deferred. Anderson highlights a contingent state of identity, the plurality of “blackness,” and encounters that are as poignant as they are partial."

Noel W. Anderson

Noel W. Anderson (b. 1981, Louisville, Kentucky) is based in Harlem and works primarily with printmaking and French weaving. He received an MFA from Indiana University in Printmaking, and an MFA from Yale University in Sculpture. He is also Area Head of Printmaking in New York University’s Steinhardt Department of Art and Art Professions. He is currently in residence at The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts.

Noel has been awarded the NYFA artist fellowship grant (Interdisciplinary, 2018), the prestigious Jerome Camargo Prize, and the paper making residency at Dieu Donne.́ His solo monographic exhibition Blak Origin Moment debuted at the Contemporary Arts Center (Cincinnati) in February 2017 and traveled to the Hunter Museum of American Art (Chattanooga) in October 2019. In 2021, Noel W. Anderson presented Heavy is the Crown at the Telfair Museum (Savannah, GA) and It’s Magic at Fondazione Mudima (Milan, Italy). His upcoming institutional museum show is KMAC (Louisville, KY) in fall 2022. His work is included in the permanent collections of the International Center of Photography, The Studio Museum in Harlem, and the Hunter Museum of American Art.

Noel W. Anderson is participating at the 12th Berlin Biennale from 11 June until 18 September 2022. He is represented by Zidoun- Bossuyt Gallery.