Hold These Truths

November 13, 2017 - March 14, 2018

Southeast Queens Biennial

February 9 - April 21, 2018

Radcliffe Bailey

Radcliffe Bailey's works draw from personal and historical artifact to explore the black struggle and race relations in the United States. Theorist’s Throne (2012), a miniature black peacock chair encased in black glitter, suggests one of the most enduring and iconic images of the 1960s Black Power movement: a photographic poster of Black Panthers co-founder Huey P. Newton seated in a peacock chair, surrounded by ancient African shields and a zebra skin, intently gripping a shotgun in one hand and a spear in the other. In Bailey's remix, the chair becomes a fetishized metonym for Black Power. Miniaturized and sterilized under a bell jar, it is reduced to a subject of scientific examination, more suited to a cabinet of curiosities than the menacing militancy of the milieu it references. By invoking colonial America, slavery, the Civil War, and the 1960s civil rights movement, Bailey draws cross-generational parallels and provokes our collective consciousness.

Untitled, 2010
Glitter, felt, feather, wood
Pedestal 35 x 11 x 11 in.; head with hat 14 x 14 x 5.5 in.
Courtesy of the Artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York

Theorist’s Throne, 2012
Mixed media
49 x 15 x 15 in.
Courtesy of the Artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York
Photo: Courtesy of Radcliffe Bailey