The New Museum is pleased to present its exhibition lineup for Summer 2019. Joining solo presentations across the Museum’s three main floors by Mika Rottenberg, Marta Minujín, and Lubaina Himid, Diedrick Brackens presents an installation of hand- woven textiles for his first New York solo museum presentation in the Lobby Gallery; artists-in-residence Melanie Crean, Shaun Leonardo, and Sable Elyse Smith debut a new video installation on the Fifth Floor for the Museum’s fourth annual Summer Art and Social Justice residency and exhibition, Mirror/Echo/Tilt; and a new installation by Sydney Shen is on view in the Museum’s Storefront Window.
Diedrick Brackens (b. 1989, Mexia, TX) constructs intricately woven textiles that speak to the complexities of black and queer identity in the United States. Interlacing diverse traditions—including West African weaving, European tapestries, and quilting from the American south—Brackens creates figurative narratives and cosmographic abstractions that lyrically merge commemoration, allegory, and lived experience. He foregrounds the loaded associations of cotton, which is enmeshed in the history of the transatlantic slave trade. Through a meticulous and mindful process, Brackens inscribes his weavings with symbolic materials and figures that probe the tangled threads of American history.
For “darling divined,” his first solo museum exhibition in New York, Brackens presents a selection of new and recent weavings in the Lobby Gallery. Their titles draw from poetry and literature by writers such as Essex Hemphill (1957–1995), a poet and activist known for openly addressing race, sexuality, the rise of HIV/AIDS, and other issues affecting the queer African-American community. This body of work was inspired by Hemphill’s poems, particularly “The Father, Son and Unholy" Ghosts” (1996), which speaks to the intricacies of familial relationships and the radical gesture of birthing one’s own identity. Brackens’s large-scale tapestries portray moments of intimacy, generosity, and affection between coupled beings, whether they be animals, lovers, relatives, or friends.
This exhibition is curated by Margot Norton, Curator, and Francesca Altamura, Curatorial Assistant.