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Rico Gatson | Sugar Hill Children's Museum of Art & Storytelling

Rico Gatson in his studio, Brooklyn, NY, 2021

GEOMETRIES

Chris Bogia, Rico Gatson, Marisol Martinez and Tariku Shiferaw (curated by Damien Davis)

Learning about shapes, spaces, and spatial concepts is foundational to the pedagogy of early language, literacy, reading and mathematical thinking.  We use geometric thinking when we build with blocks, assemble puzzles or create patterns. For adults, the use of geometry often takes the form of rationalizing and understanding abstract concepts and relationships. How can this investigation of lines and shapes help us illustrate the ways in which ideas connect to each other, while having the potential to encircle, abstract and diagram really big ideas?

Through the use of geometric shapes and figures as building blocks, GEOMETRIES aims to showcase the many ways in which shape, color and lines can be used to articulate complex ideas. The four artists involved bridge the gap between childhood and adulthood, with an emphasis on the complex issues of adults, such as mental health, accessibility to education and who education is for, black history and political movements.

The four artists in GEOMETRIES show how shape, color, and lines can be used to articulate complex ideas, while collectively building the fundamental ideals the Museum shares with children. Marisol Martinez uses her spiritual background and meditative strategies to build conversations around community, collectivity, and human connection. Chris Bogia, through his colorful building blocks, yarn, and other materials native to interior decor, offers us a chance to acknowledge the beauty that is often in closest proximity to us. With abstracted forms and conceptual uses of color, Rico Gatson creates work that is not only politically minded, but openly celebrates the aesthetics of African textiles and Black history. Tariku Shiferaw’s work forms the premise for a deeply conceptual and lyrical investigation of color, where blues and blacks offer equal potential to represent a bruise as they do a beautiful sky or a musical note. For all these artists, the decision of what world we can imagine ourselves in is largely left up to us.