Alicia Henry: 2020 and 2021 at Zeitgeist

By March 27, 2021
Alicia Henry, Untitled (Head of a Woman), 2019-2020; dye, acrylic, fabric, thread, and paper.

Working in a mix of materials including dye, acrylic, fabric, thread and paper Alicia Henry makes human figures and faces, often obscured by masks. Her work frequently explores themes of isolation and community, concepts which feel especially relevant as we reach a year of lockdown. As an artist, she strives to “make visible that which still often goes unseen” and represent a broader vision of society.

from the exhibition text

I appreciate art that unsettles, many would argue that is the point of art, to make uncomfortable. Alicia Henry’s work, a blend of textiles, acrylic and paper, strike me as too expressive, too close to emotions I work to keep under control, hidden. These figures are obscured by layers and layers, creating a mask which are more expressive than the face could be alone. I read somewhere, that the state of being Black in is akin to being a Cold War spy. The ever shifting loyalties, the constant heightened awareness of your surroundings, the palpable threat of violence from the enemy (which may or may not be your own state), the hidden speech and codes. Henry’s figures orient me towards that feeling, the feeling of constant practiced deceptions, the masks worn for so long that the distinction between who one is and who one pretends to be ceases.

– Jasmine Amussen

Alicia Henry, Untitled (Vertical Line and Figure), 2019-2020; dye, acrylic, fabric, thread, and paper.
Alicia Henry, Untitled (Multi-Faced Piece) (detail), 2019-2021; dye, acrylic, fabric, thread, and paper.
Alicia Henry, Untitled (Multi-Faced Piece), 2019-2021; dye, acrylic, fabric, thread, and paper.
Georgia Museum of Art: Modern Native American Printmakers on view through January 30
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Alicia Henry, Untitled (Large Head), 2019-2020; acrylic, fabric, thread, and paper.
Alicia Henry, Untitled (Figure with Flowers); dye, acrylic, fabric, thread and paper.

Alicia Henry, Untitled (Flower), 2020-2021; dye, acrylic, fabric, thread, and paper.
New Orleans Film Festival: November 5-21
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Alicia Henry, Untitled (Ball), 2019-2020; acrylic, fabric, thread, and paper.
Alicia Henry, Untitled (Mystery), 2019-2020; acrylic, fabric, thread, and paper.
Alicia Henry, Untitled (Flower), 2020-2021; dye, acrylic, fabric, thread, and paper.
NOMA: Dawn DeDeaux: The Space Between Worlds on view through January 23
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Alicia Henry, Untitled (Small Head), 2019-2020; dye, acrylic, fabric, thread, and paper.

Alicia Henry 2020 and 2021 closed at Zeitgeist Gallery, Nashville, on March 27.

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