Four Horsemen & the Apocalypse Exhibition Book
featuring the works of Chino Amobi, James Williams, Curtis Newkirk, Jr., and Josh Williams
published by Shockoe Artspace
About the Catalogue
Text by Ryan Lauterio and Garreth C. Blackwell, Ph.D.
120p, color, perfect bound, 8.25 x 11.75 inches
($51.50 including sales tax and $3.99 shipping)
Are we in something of an apocalypse right now? Because it certainly feels like it. Much of the west coast is engulfed in fires, the likes of which we have never seen. Civil unrest in the U.S. is at a boiling point with protests and rioting over justice, fairness, and equality. The unprecedented coronavirus pandemic has proved to have severe and devastating global effects that threaten to persist for years to come. Many are secluded in their homes out of both safety and fear while those outside have become masked. One of the most polarized U.S. presidential elections is ahead of us. Doom, gloom and mayhem seems to be present at every turn and sunrise. Perhaps this is the end indeed.
In this time of civil unrest, a time of questions, confusion, hurt, and battles still to be fought, Shockoe Artspace proudly seeks to serve you an apocalyptic tale better understood. A tale of change. While many may fear this to be the end of the world, four artists have busied themselves with the hopeful act of making new visions of what life is like and can be. Vibrant abstracted paintings sing a visual composition that must be seen to be felt, with dense networks of color subtly shifting and exchanging across the varied sized canvases of James L. Williams, dazzlingly vibrant flowers float in a garden that we have not yet seen but still feel familiar with in the incredible neon fever dream paintings of Chino Amobi, framed visions of life bursting forth and humanity remade through the careful eyes and hands of a masterful painter Curtis Newkirk, Jr. and the intimate, joyful collages that dance in electric ways before your eyes in the new designed work of the emerging artist/designer Josh Williams. In these incredible works we encounter a kind of visual abundance, giving us new visuals to consider that perhaps can be freshly enjoined to the term “apocalypse” as the dawning of an age. We need this fresh take more than ever; we cannot afford to let confirmation bias drive us to see the world end while missing where trees are being planted that need water, cultivation, and care. This show seeks to amplify all that these artists are: visionary, exemplar, and hopeful.
This unprecedented large-scale exhibition of four black artists is the kind of reality we must take our cues from, to continue pointing the way forward for our city, the state of Virginia, and our country. Let these men be your new generals. And this book encapsulates and celebrates the monumental show. With more than 100 full color images, this companion to the exhibition allows time to be spent with the work, as you absorb the weight of the claims these four artists assert through their work.
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