Los Angeles-based artist Kori Newkirk transforms everyday images and objects into lyrical expressions of life. Born in the Bronx in 1970 and raised in Cortland, New York, he fuses his formal art education with childhood memories, social and political commentary, and popular culture. His works in sculpture, photography, video and mixed-media explore issues of race, gender, masculinity, alienation and place.
Newkirk’s formal training as a painter—he received his MFA from the University of California in Irvine—is evident in his command of composition, color and form. His approaches to subjectivity and objectivity, as well as his use of found materials, exemplify his innovative art practice. From his signature landscape works composed of plastic hair beads to the insertion of his body in social spaces and natural environments, his work reminds viewers of the isolation experienced by urban youth, the over-consumption of popular culture and the prevalence of racial stereotyping, as well as the beauty and experiences of African-American culture and life.
Curated by Thelma Golden, Director and Chief Curator of The Studio Museum in Harlem, Kori Newkirk: 1997–2007 is the most extensive presentation of this artist’s work to date, and illuminates how the varied yet interrelated strands of Newkirk’s practice have converged and developed over time. The Studio Museum featured Newkirk’s work in Freestyle, the seminal 2001 group exhibition of emerging talent. Newkirk has also been exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston.
Kori Newkirk: 1997–2007 is initiated and sponsored by the Fellows of Contemporary Art. This exhibition is also made possible with major support from Altria Group Inc. and The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation.