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'Hyperallergic' on SVA Alumnus Delano Dunn's 'Challenging, Surprising' Work

From Hyperallergic: “The first time I walked into Long Gallery in Harlem, in May 2016, and saw the exhibition The Moon is My Only Luxury, I was disappointed enough that it took several months and conversations with colleagues to get me to return. I thought the works in that show—paintings by Elizabeth Colomba that proposed a fictional version of US history by using portraiture to interpose real or imagined black women in contexts in which they did not originally exist—were earnestly simplistic attempts at black uplift. It was the kind of show I felt I was expected to like because it was revisionist and centered on restoring black women to the historical records out of which they are often excised, but in a way that was too one-dimensional. What’s more, the paintings, for me, didn’t hold up to sustained looking. On the other hand, the exhibition that opened at Long Gallery quite recently, No One Can Be This Tomorrow, a solo exhibition of work by Delano Dunn, which was curated by Jasmine Wahi of Gateway Project Spaces in Newark, convinced me that the gallery has found its legs, that it can run.

The work in the show uses some strategies I’m familiar with: historical figures culled from archives collaged with abstract motifs that bring the figures to great visual vitality. Dunn adds to this strategy a smart combination of textures that quarrel with each other, like the sheen of clear lacquer against the corrosive and light-eating qualities of dark shoe polish…” (For the full story and more images, click here)

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