Word of Mouf
The Armory Show
New York, NY
September 9 - 11, 2022
Gaa Gallery is delighted to participate in the 2022 edition of the Armory Show with a solo presentation of new paintings and sculptures by Autumn Wallace. The exhibition titled Word of Mouf, is inspired by the 2001 Ludacris album. Referencing renaissance and baroque paintings, folk tales, fables, political events, ancient history, African American folklore, and personal experience, Autumn Wallace’s new works for their solo presentation at The Armory Show present highly enriched tableaus subject to logic and gravity only beholden to the whim of the artist. Inspired by children’s board books, Wallace’s works are concerned with the construction of morality and fables. While each painting creates a specific moral tale, the works also tell the individual stories of characters like NayNay, January, 18° (also known as Sapphire), or TaskRabbit’s sister who engage in several intimate semiotic conversations, pleasure themselves, teach each other lessons, or part from their shadows – only to dismantle the moral as a linguistic, social, and even physical political tool. Through these characters, objects, forms, textures, and multi-dimensional narratives emerge and continue from one painting to another. The narratives are intricate. Bodies flow from one state to another, between thresholds of pleasure and peril. Likewise, Wallace both exposes and highlights the blemishes, failures, and diverse body types as representative of a life truly lived.
Questioning reality and fiction, Wallace’s paintings on aluminum dibond strive for a grotesque, even surreal approach to create unique and layered worlds and stories. Blended over each other in a transparent structure, layers of paint intertwine symbols and spaces. With the gaze of the beholder, the works lay down a navigational pin in a parallel universe. One, that locates its sceneries, like the genders of its inhabitants, in a timeless threshold. In it we are engaged in an (un)controlled chaos of sub-narrations told by flying “moufs” and non-linear truths. In a strangely hypnotic symphony formed by the interplay of the exhibited paintings, ancient mythologies are combined with a phantasmagoric world of invisible hands.
Rendered in movement, recurring characters with distinct personalities are wrapped, entwined, and pressed against each other. Around them, corporeal and incorporeal beings are omnipresent. Objects become animate, plant life closes in, and architecture becomes a presence of containment, protection, and obstacle. Ancient and modern mythologies are interwoven, employing new and extant characters in Wallace’s expansive lexicon. Wallace offers new perspectives of narrative and provides a contemporary lens to view archetypal stories within the art historical canon.
Autumn Wallace (b. 1996, Philadelphia, PA) is a visual artist who works across media to create paintings and sculptures that examine human sexuality, gender, and the black femme experience. Influenced by early 90’s cartoons, Byzantine aesthetics, Baroque Style, and what Wallace describes as “low-quality adult materials”, Wallace’s work generates a sense of fluidity whereby figures defy spatial, social, physical, emotional, and psychological boundaries. Wallace is a recent graduate at the Tyler School of Art at Temple University. Recent solo exhibitions include Ode to the Mercury Thermometer, Gaa Projects, Cologne, Germany; How to Hug Yourself: Ten Steps (with Pictures), Gaa Gallery, Provincetown, MA, USA; #THECONTAINTERSTORE, Fine Arts Work Center, Provincetown, MA; #MAJORSEXUALCHEESEFETISH, Portside Art Parlor, Philadelphia, PA; How Could I Say No To You?, HOUSE Gallery, Philadelphia, PA; and #SingleWithPets, Stella Elkins Gallery, Philadelphia, PA. Wallace’s work has also been featured in group exhibitions at Blum and Poe, Los Angeles, CA; Clearing, Brooklyn, NY; Da Vinci Art Alliance, Philadelphia, PA; Gaa Gallery, Provincetown, MA; Lauren Powell Productions, Los Angeles, CA; and the Provincetown Art Association and Museum (PAAM), Provincetown, MA, among others. Wallace is the recipient of numerous fellowships including residencies at the Fine Arts Work Center, Provincetown, MA; Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA), North Adams, MA; the Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, VT; and Yaddo Saratoga Springs, NY. In 2021 Wallace’s work was acquired by the Studio Museum in Harlem.