An exclusive first look at Ludlow House’s new art collection
The House’s refreshed Parlor features a collection from exciting New York-based artists whose works investigate the cultural and personal conditions of identity and gender, says Soho House Art Collection Manager Sara Terzi
By Sara Terzi Above image: Antonio Pulgarin ‘Letters From A Father’ Sunday 18 October, 2020 Long read
‘Untitled (Standing Blue)’, 2020
Troy Michie’s practice examines race, gender stereotypes, marginalised figures, and sexuality. In a recurring motif in his collages, as in ‘Untitled (Standing Blue)’, he takes vintage gay porn magazines fetishizing men of colour and manipulates the images by splicing, sawing and redrawing over them, playing with the concept of visibility and exposure.
‘Recompositions Series (#1, #4, #6, #8)’, 2015
Joiri Minaya draws from her Dominican heritage to discuss the Western construction of tropicality and its superficial gaze over ethnicities with wildly different histories. In her ‘Recompositions’ postcards, she explores the interchangeability and commodification of women’s bodies in visual culture and the feminisation of landscape. The artist surreptitiously dropped some of these postcards in gift shops across the Caribbean as a performative action.
The painting practice of Anthony Cudahy has a subtle pared-down aesthetic. His work habitually presents a minimised colour palette where a dull tone is juxtaposed to a phosphorescent one, bringing a glowing focus to his subjects. Inspired by gay iconography as much as by old masterpieces, he creates tender and intimate portraits.
Kameelah Janan Rasheed
‘Lazy Equation’, 2019
Artist and writer Kameelah Janan Rasheed is fascinated by language and its use to (re)write history. With her practice she asks the viewer to carefully consider the weight of words through immersive text-based installations, publications, and sound projects. In this work – part of A Casual Mathematics series – she uses the language of numbers to articulate racial inequality, ultimately underlining how a complex history cannot be reduced to fixed formulas.
The work of Elliott Jerome Brown Jr presents blackness as a subject through representation of people in domestic spaces, in the artist’s own words ‘a documented abstraction of daily life’. In his photographs, ordinary objects in private spaces are exaggerated and brought to the forefront while we only catch glimpses of their owners, with the artist daring us to speculate about them.
‘Black And Blue (Portals)’, 2020
Baseera Khan uses fashion, photography, music, sculpture and performance to express her Muslim American experience, and to open up a dialogue about Muslim femininity and, by extension, Islam. In ‘Black And Blue (Portals)’, she overlays fragmented images from her family albums with colourful pleather, cut out with traditional designs passed down in her family for generations.
‘Patterns & Rituals XXIII’, 2019
In his richly chromatic paintings, Tunji Adeniyi-Jones examines West African and Yoruban history, mythology, and ritualistic practices. His work is populated by sinuous figures and animals often set in fantastical and lush jungles in shades of deep blues, purple and red, created to emphasise the motions of the figures by following the curves and shapes of their bodies.
‘The Dream In The Dream’, 2020
Naomi Okubo creates kaleidoscopic paintings with women placed in feminine and romantic spaces, distinctive for their detailed and overlapping patterns. The seductive settings play on mass media obsession about appearances, and underline the personal conflict of the shy and mysterious figures that intentionally hide their faces from the viewer and modern society.
‘Letters From A Father’ and ‘A Chest That Bears Honor’
Antonio Pulgarin’s work explores machismo ideology in Latin American culture. In the series, Fragments Of The Masculine, he takes found images of his biological father and uncle to create emotional photographic collages. Through the physical manipulation of the images, incorporated into collages made with colours from the Colombian flag and patterns from his childhood home, he presents a very personal take on the subject.
‘Toward Yes, Toward No’, 2017
Maryam Hoseini considers the subtle relationship between the human body and the geographical and social environment it inhabits. In her work, women interact with each other in splintered architectures, referencing the ruins of her native Iran. Reflecting on same-gender intimacy and defying censorship of the female form, her subjects are nude, limbs flattened and fragmented as the space they live in, but also realistically covered with hair.
The Ludlow House Parlor collection comprises works by: Tunji Adeniyi-Jones, Alexander Barton, Elliott Jerome Brown Jr, Zoë Buckman, Anthony Cudahy, Sarah Faux, Bea Fremderman, Madeline Hollander, Baseera Khan, Emma Kohlmann, Troy Michie, Joiri Minaya, Justin Liam O’Brien, Naomi Okubo, Antonio Pulgarin, Kameelah Janan Rasheed, Adriano Valeri, and James Viscardi.