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TYLER MITCHELL
CHRYSALIS

ART SHOW /.

10. 04. 2022

Text By: GAGOSIAN

CHRYSALIS BY: Tyler Mitchell

October 6th - November 12, 2022

LONDON, ENGLAND

Gagosian is pleased to present Chrysalis, an exhibition of new photographs by Tyler Mitchell. Opening October 6, it will be the gallery’s first solo exhibition of works by Mitchell, and his first in London.

Mitchell’s photographs and videos propose a utopian vision of Black beauty, desire, and belonging. For Chrysalis, he has produced photographs of youthful subjects in nature. Shot on location in upstate New York and in studios in New York and London in 2022, the images allude to the contemporary landscape while reflecting on the history of photographic images of Black people, particularly in the American South. Playfully theatrical and surreal, the works focus on Black figures and the landscapes they inhabit, incorporating visual signifiers of spirituality, transformation, and aspiration.

Chrysalis presents images of Black men and women in idyllic states of leisure and repose, safe and unencumbered by social expectations. In a photograph that shares its title with the exhibition, a young man sleeps on a blanket-covered bed, within the protective cocoon of a mosquito net. A Glint of Possibility represents a figure on a tire swing suspended above the surface of a lake, frozen in perfect equilibrium. Treading shows a boy’s head emerging from the same lake as a large bunch of balloons floats in the image’s center.

Mitchell uses land, water and sky in both natural and artificial forms as symbols of possibilities. Cage depicts a woman posing before a painted backdrop of a garden surrounded by a white picket fence—a pictorial symbol of the artificial containment of nature. In the triptych Protect from all Elements, we see a figure actively creating his own universe by pulling a painted sky backdrop over a coffin-like structure holding tilled earth.

Juxtaposed with these images of subjects in harmony with nature are smaller photographs in which men are represented wading, swimming, and struggling in muddy water. From the mud-covered figure in The Heart to the cleansing currents of Distillation and muddy footprints of Tenderly, these works picture individuals affected by clashing elemental forces. As such, they assert the need to remain vigilant and resilient in the face of historical prejudice and unfulfilled commitments.

Mitchell’s work is featured in The New Black Vanguard, an exhibition curated by Antwaun Sargent that will open at Saatchi Gallery, London, on October 28, 2022.

For more images and INFORMATION CLICK HERE.

 

CHRYSALIS BY: Tyler Mitchell

October 6th - November 12, 2022

17-19 DAVIES STREET

LONDON W1K 3DE

 

CREDITS
TEXT: GAGOSIAN

ILLUSTRATION / Photos: TYLER MITCHELL

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