°1983 Caracas (VZ) – lives and works in Brooklyn, New York (US)
Born to Grenadian and Haitian parents and raised between the Caribbean and New York, Barrington’s practice explores interconnected histories of cultural production. Considering himself primarily a painter, Barrington’s multimedia approach to image-making employs burlap, textiles, postcards and clothing, exploring how materials themselves can function as visual tools while referencing their personal, political and commercial histories. Barrington has explored the formal action of sewing to connect with his Grenadian aunts, who themselves were masterful sewers, and as an access point into this otherwise traditionally gendered textile art practice. His intimate compositions focus on single subjects in close-up, including faces, body parts, and tropical vegetation.
Influence and exchange are crucial to Barrington, who draws upon a host of artistic and cultural references in his work. His personal touchstones include rapper Tupac Shakur and 90s hip-hop culture, jazz and the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s, Jamaican political activist Marcus Garvey, modernist icons such as Willem de Kooning, Paul Klee, Agnes Martin and Louise Bourgeois, and his art-world peers. His resolutely interdisciplinary approach follows in the footsteps of Robert Rauschenberg’s groundbreaking Combines, which he references by incorporating real objects into the picture plane, including carpets, steel drums, brooms and fans. He is an artist who is continually expanding his constellation of references, inspirations and communities, while always acknowledging the formative role of art history in his practice.
(courtesy of Thaddaeus Ropac)
Recent solo exhibitions Thaddaeus Ropac, Salzburg; South London Gallery, London; Sadie Coles HQ, London; Emalin, London; MassimoDeCarlo, Milan; Blum & Poe, Los Angeles; Nicola Vassell Gallery, New York; and MoMA PS1, New York.
Alvaro Barrington is represented by the following galleries;
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