Diasporic Entropic Diremption and the Cross-Cultural Cross
Al Bolton, Renée Cox, David Dixon, Ellwood C. Dixon, Frank Frances, Cécile Fromont, Daniel Swanigan Snow, Nari Ward
February 5 - (extended) April 17, 2022
Press Release and Participant Bios (PDF)
Exhibition Checklist (PDF)
Brooklyn Rail's New Social Environment (video)
collector Al Bolton (video)
David Dixon 'Funeral / Studio, Death of the Author' (2020), one from a series of seven
David Dixon 'Funeral / Studio, Necromancy' (2020), one from a series of seven
from left: David Dixon 'Funeral / Studio' (2020), Frank Frances 'Cotton Pic-n' and 'Africa' (2022)
Frank Frances, detail, 'Cotton Pic-n' and 'Africa' (2022)
Frank Frances 'Flag' (2021)
Cécile Fromont, material from the publication 'The Art of Conversion: Christian Visual Culture in the Kingdom of Kongo' (2014)
Cécile Fromont, animation of cross and lozenge (2014)
David Dixon 'The Clansman' (2022), Nari Ward 'Hole Nation' (2017)
Nari Ward 'Hole Nation' (2017)
David Dixon 'The Clansman' (2022)
from left: Daniel Swanigan Snow 'Altered States' (2022) and 'Walking Sticks' (1970-2021)
Daniel Swanigan Snow, detail, 'Altered States' (2022)
Daniel Swanigan Snow 'Walking Stick IV' (2021)
from left: Renée Cox 'Origin' (1993), Daniel Swanigan Snow 'Walking Stick III' (2005), Kota reliquary figure (circa 20th century)
Renée Cox, detail, 'Origin' (1993)
from left: Kota reliquary figure (circa 20th century), Ellwood C. Dixon 'Santa Maria' (1926), Frank Frances photos, Kota reliquary figure (circa 20th century)
Kota reliquary figure (circa 20th century)
Ellwood C. Dixon 'Santa Maria' (1926)
from left: Daniel Swanigan Snow 'Walking Stick III' (2005), Kota reliquary figure (circa 20th century), Ellwood C. Dixon 'Santa Maria' (1926), Kota reliquary figure (circa 20th century), Frank Frances 'Space Aid' (2020)
Daniel Swanigan Snow 'Walking Stick III' (2005)
Daniel Swanigan Snow, detail, 'Walking Stick III' (2005)
Frank Frances 'Hunted' (2020)
Frank Frances 'Betty' (2021)
Frank Frances 'Eagle and Mask' (2020)
from left: Frank Frances 'Betty' (2021), 'Eagle and Mask' (2020), 'Door' (2021), 'Hunted' (2020), 'Entry' (2021), Kota reliquary figure (circa 20th century)
Kota reliquary figure, detail, (circa 20th century)
from left: Kota reliquary figure (circa 20th century), Renée Cox 'Origin' (1993), Kota reliquary figure (circa 20th century), Daniel Swanigan Snow 'Walking Stick III' (2005)
from left: Daniel Swanigan Snow 'Altered States' (2022), 'Walking Sticks' (1970-2021), and 'Stalactite' (2021)
Frank Frances 'Bottle' [hung upside down] (2021)
exhibition installation photographs by Dario Lasagni, details and isolated shots by Yanka Kostova
Addendum: Renee Cox's 'Origin' was promised to another gallery before our extended closing date of April 17 (Easter Sunday), the below piece 'Ascension' was installed in its place for the final week.
David Dixon 'Ascension' (2022), canvas, digital c-print, bronze, rusty nails
David Dixon (detail) 'Ascension' (2022), canvas, digital c-print, bronze, rusty nails
The exhibition, 'Diasporic Entropic Diremption (D.E.D.) and the Cross-Cultural Cross' is a focused yet wide-ranging exhibition that spans both traditional and contemporary African continental and diasporic art production within the rubric of Americana and the modern tack toward liberation movements. It brings together an emerging artist, an outsider artist, a photographer, a sculptor, a scholar, a collector, an ancestor, and a curator.
Exploiting the gallery’s high ceilings, the exhibition takes surprising form by adding a second floor to Cathouse Proper’s main gallery space at 524 Projects. Some works that have been exhibited by the program before will reappear in this new exhibition context, including photographer Renée Cox’s monumental 1993 diptych, 'Origin'; sculptor Nari Ward’s drilled American history book, 'Hole Nation'; and ancestor Ellwood C. Dixon’s handcrafted model of Christopher Columbus’s 'Santa Maria'. Other works have been recently created, specifically emerging artist Frank Frances’s paintings of flags and cotton, as well as photographs re-contextualized from his professional shoots for high-end home decor magazines. Collector Al Bolton, who buys art directly from sources in Burkina Faso, loans several traditional Kota reliquary objects, and scholar Cécile Fromont, whose published research has helped inform this exhibition, provides an original rendering based on archeological material that conflates the Kongo and Christian crosses. Fromont also contributes an animation that demonstrates the dialectical visual relationship of cross and lozenge. Unifying this diverse installation of works, outsider artist Daniel Swanigan Snow has been commissioned to assist in the overall exhibition design, while curator David Dixon shows a few works of his own that lend insight into the conception and form of the exhibition itself.
Al Bolton is a tax accountant based in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. He began collecting art from West Africa, in earnest, a decade ago, primarily from sources in Burkina Faso and Côte d’Ivoire. Over the years his collecting practice has evolved into a focus on the uncolonized Lobi tribe. In his many years of collecting art from Africa he has acquired over 600 distinct pieces and has sold none. He was born in Brownsville, Brooklyn.
Renée Cox was born in Jamaica. She attended the School of Visual Arts, as well as the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program. Her work has been included in solo and group exhibitions at prominent institutions, including Tate Liverpool, the New Museum, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Perez Art Museum, the Studio Museum in Harlem, Whitney Museum of Art, and LACMA, among others. Her work has been acquired by a number of private and public collections, including Whitney Museum of American Art, National Gallery of Jamaica, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Princeton University Art Museum, Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Nasher Museum of Art, and Rose Art Museum. She has been the recipient of the Artists Fellowship Award from NYFA for The MacDowell Colony Residency, and the Aaron Matalon Award from The National Gallery of Jamaica. She has taught at New York University and Columbia University, and has lectured at Yale College of Art, New York University, and Parsons School of Design, among others. She lives and works in Manhattan and Amagansett, NY.
David Dixon is an artist, filmmaker, performer and the founding director of the Cathouse FUNeral / Proper gallery project which he began in 2013. Since, he has organized over thirty solo exhibitions, fifteen group exhibitions, and dozens of events. His artwork has been exhibited in venues such as MoMA, Sculpture Center, Ryan Lee Gallery, Postmasters Gallery, Antenna, and Anthology Film Archive, among others. He has lectured at Harvard University, The School of Visual Arts, Hunter College, Tyler School of Art, Cornell University, and New York University. His film David Dixon is dead. was awarded best feature film in the Queens World Film Festival of 2012 and received a distribution grant from NYSCA through Wave Farm. He was born in Philadelphia, PA, received a BFA from Parsons School of Design and MFA from Cornell University. He currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
Ellwood C. Dixon was an autodidact who worked as a commercial printmaker and machinist specializing in the rotogravure technique primarily for Triangle Publications that produced magazines such as Seventeen and TV Guide. He was also an amateur photographer, filmmaker and painter. He was born in Troy, NY in 1901 and died in Philadelphia, PA in 2002.
Frank Frances was born in Columbia, South Carolina. He received his BFA and MFA from the School of Visual Arts. His work spans painting, sculpture, and photography. He has shown in solo and group exhibitions at the Studio Museum of Harlem, Carriage Trade, Sasha Wolf Projects, Cathouse Proper and Werkstadt Graz in Austria. Select clients from his commercial photography portfolio include Architectural Digest, Elle Decor, Vogue, Glossier, Target, and West Elm. Features and reviews of his work have appeared in publications such as the New York Times, the New Yorker, NPR, Bomblog, and Bloomberg Businessweek, among others. His first book, Remember The South, was published by Monolith Editions in 2020. He lives and works in New York City.
Cécile Fromont was born and raised in Martinique. She has studied at Harvard University, The University of California at Berkeley, and The Paris Institute of Political Sciences. She is an associate professor in the History of Art Department at Yale University and has also taught at University of Chicago. She has been awarded numerous grants and fellowships for her scholarship, including from the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, the Michigan Society of Fellows, the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, the Renaissance Society of America, and the Paris Institute for Advanced Studies. Her debut book, The Art of Conversion: Christian Visual Culture in the Kingdom of the Kongo, received numerous awards, including the 2017 Arts Council of the African Studies Association Triennial Arnold Rubin Outstanding Book Award and the 2015 Albert J. Raboteau Prize for the Best Book in Africana Religions. Her forthcoming book, Images on a Mission in Early Modern Kongo and Angola, will be published from Penn State University Press in the summer of 2022.
Daniel Swanigan Snow was born in Pittsburgh, PA. He came to NYC in the 1970s to pursue acting in both theater and film. He has performed in everything from Shakespeare to B-movies to this exhibition curator’s feature films. Over a decade ago, at the age of 54, Snow began making art. His sculptural assemblage work debuted in Cathouse FUNeral / Proper’s inaugural exhibition in 2013. Since, he has had two solo shows with the gallery, as well as three solo booths at the Outsider Art Fair. His work was also featured in OAF’s 25th anniversary exhibition in 2017 curated by Edward M. Gómez and in the fair’s independent exhibition Super-Rough in 2021 curated by Takashi Murakami. His work has been reviewed in Huffington Post, Hyperallergic, Artnet and Brutforce. He lives and works in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn where his sculpture can be seen adorning his yard.
Nari Ward was born in Jamaica. He attended Hunter College and Brooklyn College. His work has been exhibited at national and international venues and institutions including the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston, the New Museum, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Walker Art Center, the Guggenheim Museum, MoMA PS1, the Whitney Biennial, the Venice Biennale, and the Palazzo Reale in Milan. His work has been acquired by a number of private and public collections, including the Brooklyn Museum, the Baltimore Museum of Art, Istanbul Modern, the New York Public Library, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and the Studio Museum in Harlem. He is the recipient of awards such as the Joyce Award from the Joyce Foundation and the Rome Prize from the American Academy of Rome, as well as awards from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation and the NEA. He has been commissioned by the United Nations and the World Health Organization. He currently resides in New York and teaches in the Department of Art and Art History at Hunter College.