Susan Inglett Gallery is pleased to present “Keep on Pushing,” an exhibition of new cut-paper work and paintings on panel by gallery artist William Villalongo from 26 October through 9 December 2017.
Known for irreverent riffs on the art historical “muse,” William Villalongo has made episodic paintings and works on paper, which underscore historical erasure and master narratives of desire. In his fifth solo exhibition at Susan Inglett Gallery, the artist turns his attention to the black male figure, while returning to his signature cut velvet paper works.
This new body of work suggests a re-imagining of the black male figure at a time when current events and statistics reflect a social reality of limited expectations, contingency, and disproportionate fear. Within the dark tones of these meditations on physiology, the artist uses metaphors of invisibility, nature, and reformation as necessary conditions of being. Much like fallen autumn leaves, Villalongo’s men navigate their world, subject to an unpredictable wind - piling, spinning, and re-collecting. The work conjures spaces of sensuality, humor, and history. Titled after Curtis Mayfield’s 1970 “Keep on Pushing,” Villalongo’s recent body of work speaks to the inherent human spirit’s will to persevere and to find a way.
William Villalongo was born in 1975 and raised in Bridgeton, NJ. He received his B.F.A. from The Cooper Union School of Art and his M.F.A. from Tyler School of Art at Temple University. Villalongo has exhibited extensively with recent appearances in “Woke! William Villalongo and Mark Thomas Gibson” at the USF Contemporary Art Museum in Tampa, and is the co-curator with Gibson of the highly acclaimed traveling exhibition “Black Pulp.” His work has been included in recent shows at the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, MoMA PS1, the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts, and the Studio Museum in Harlem. Reviews have appeared in Artforum, ARTnews, The New York Times, The Brooklyn Rail, and The Village Voice among others.