Kevin Demery: Power Lines
Sakhile&Me, Frankfurt am Main, Germany16 May 2019 - 22 Jun 2019
Sakhile&Me presents Power Lines, a selection of new work by recent MFA graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) Kevin M. Demery that explores the interplay between North American history and signifiers of power.
The exhibition is Demery‘s first show in Germany. Power Lines depicts a selection of eleven works – nine acrylic paintings on canvas and two pinewood wind chimes – almost all of them enhanced with materials such as aluminum, conduit pipes, coins, purses, or shoes. The pieces merge the two-dimensional with the three-dimensional to form poetic snippets of history and collective reflection and range in tone from bright primary colors over pastels to black on gold.
The title of the show refers to Demery‘s mapping of geometric color blocks with objects hanging from ropes or chains that are draped over the canvas. Demery develops a painterly language that invites us to move between the potent aesthetic of his work and recurring motifs of historical violence, surveillance, and childhood trauma. Demery says, „the Power Lines series is originally inspired by seeing electrical lines used to honor deceased members of my community through the hanging of discarded shoes. The works draw on concepts of memorials through racial subjugation and use religious imagery like stained glass or chains and jute rope to replace the power lines.“
Kevin Demery (b. 1992) is a 2018 MFA graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a 2014 BFA graduate of the California College of the Arts. Since 2013, he has shown in both solo and group shows across the Unites States and in both public and private art exhibition spaces. He was most recently a participant in two artist residencies at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in Omaha and the Acre Artist in Residence in Steuben.
About the gallery – Sakhile&Me is a contemporary art space based in downtown Frankfurt working with emerging and established international artists, creative entrepreneurs and curators, with a particular focus on Africa and its many diasporas. The gallery’s two founders, Sakhile Matlhare and Daniel Hagemeier, received bachelor’s degrees from Hamilton College and master’s degrees from the University of Sydney. Matlhare then pursued a doctoral degree at Northwestern University focusing on how contemporary artists work alongside curators, art historians, and other art experts in the gatekeeping process, within and beyond the rubric of contemporary African art. Hagemeier has worked with his father, Achim Hagemeier (Kunsthandel Hagemeier), for the past four years, specializing in German Expressionist and classical modern art.