Tschabalala Self, Lite, 2018. Acrylic, flashe, milk paint, fabric, and gum on canvas. 96 x 84 inches (243.8 x 213.36 cm). Courtesy of the artist; Pilar Corrias Gallery, London; and Thierry Goldberg Gallery, Miami. © Tschabalala Self
Tschabalala Self (b. 1990 in Harlem, New York) creates large-scale figurative paintings that integrate hand-printed and found textiles, drawing, printmaking, sewing, and collage techniques to tell stories of urban life, the body, and humanity. The artist’s first Boston presentation—and her largest exhibition to date—will include a selection of paintings and sculptures that represent personal avatars, couplings, and everyday social exchanges inspired by urban life. Together, they articulate new expressions of embodiment and humanity through the exaggerated forms and exuberant textures of the human figure, pointing to its limitless capacity to represent imagined states, memories, aspirations, and emotions. Yet Self’s characters possess an ordinary grace grounded in reality: they are reflections of the artist or people she can imagine meeting in Harlem, her hometown.