Hold These Truths

November 13, 2017 - March 14, 2018

NLE Lab: Southeast Queens Biennial

February 9 - April 21, 2018

Iliana Emilia Garcia


if I build it, 2014 
China ink, acrylic and charcoal on canvas, 110 x 53 inches.

The Pursuit of Happiness, 2014
Installation, wood, ropes, wires. 18 x 4 feet. 

Iliana Emilia Garcia has featured the chair in her work since the 1990s. Whether represented in painting, drawing, photography or three-dimensional installations, the chair motif has become her key symbol to investigate cross roads or contact zones among people inhabiting multiple cultures, neighborhoods and nations. A surrogate for the body, Garcia manipulates scenes and situations in which the chair is placed to consider what she calls emotional geography, relationships in which presence or absence, exile or homeland cannot alone depict levels of closeness or estrangement. 

The seven hanging chairs in the current installation, their component parts hinged and tentative, counter the traditional role of the chair as a sturdy, comforting object—an item constructed solely to support an individual.

Pictured: if I build it, courtesy of the artist; The Pursuit of Happiness, photo by Whitney Browne.