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John and June Allcott Gallery: André Leon Gray, lost lux libertas

Old Habits Are Hard To Break: A Subsidy for the Lost Cause, detail, Andre Leon Gray

Reception: Thursday, Feb 20, 5:30-8:30 pm

Artist statement: I am constantly exploring and investigating power structures within our world. I synthesize the past with the present into eye-opening commentaries on the concept of race and its impact on social hierarchies. Within my installations and assemblages, I appropriate imagery and words from various forms of mass communication―the internet, television, films, book and song titles to comments on social media.

Tar is my signature medium and symbolic signifier, juxtaposed with discarded found objects charged with sociopolitical meaning. I forge links between cultural perceptions and race relations to give the viewer a visual meal for the mind.

The title of this exhibition references the official motto of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, lux libertas, which is Latin for light [and] liberty. The addition of the word lostimplies that we are in a dark period in American history where the favored get the rewards, and for others, certain inalienable rights are challenged daily in various ways: Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Artist bio: Raleigh native André Leon Gray is a self-trained artist who works in a variety of media to examine the impact of history on present day power structures and social hierarchies. He transforms mundane objects and materials into powerful social commentaries to encourage conversations among his diverse audience.

Gray uses discarded materials, including crutches, police barrier tape and imagery found on the internet, to create a coded visual language. In his artistic practice, he loves to examine, dissect and arrange multiple sources of information into his work. His recipe of historical and contemporary references, are continually stirred in his hearty pot of eye gumbo: a visual meal for the mind, thickened with a roux of black culture, marinated in social commentary and seasoned with consciousness.

Gray has exhibited work at Prizm Art Fair 2017, the Orlando Museum of Art, Duke Performances’ “Monk @100: A Century of Genius” in Durham, Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, SCOPE Miami 2012, and the United Nations Headquarters in New York City. His work is in the permanent collection of the North Carolina Museum of Art.

Admission: Free
Allcott Gallery Hours: Monday-Friday, 8 am-5 pm

Artist website: https://www.andreleongray.art/

For more information, please contact Stacy Lynn Waddell: stacylynnwaddell@yahoo.com

Image credit: “Old Habits Are Hard to Break: A Subsidy for the Lost Cause,” (detail), 2020.
© 2020 André Leon Gray.

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