Considering he’s yet to even reach his 30s, Tyler Mitchell has gathered quite an impressive list of institutions and galleries to have shown at, and titles he’s shot for. Now, the artist is presenting a body of new works with London’s Gagosian Davies Street location, titled “Chrysalis”. Inside the exhibition, a series of photographs and videos are on show, each exploring a “utopian vision of Black beauty, desire, and belonging.”
Across a period of time earlier this year, Mitchell shot on location in upstate New York, and in studios in New York and London. Throughout the body of work, he was specifically looking to capture images of Black men and women in states of safety and relaxation, often against a natural backdrop – created either artificially or taken in-situ. “Collectively, these moments become figments of an imaginative psychic state of being, one in which radiance, resistance, restraint, comfort, and full human agency exist,” he says.
Works on show range from living in harmony with nature to pieces depicting an element of struggle. “Chrysalis” (2022), from which the title of the exhibition is derived, shows a young man sleeping on a bed, surrounded by the “protective cocoon” of a mosquito net, while a series of smaller photographs show individuals in water – be it struggling or swimming. “these works picture individuals affected by clashing elemental forces,” the Gagosian says. “They assert the need to remain vigilant and resilient in the face of historical prejudice and unfulfilled commitments.”
Chrysalis is on show at Gagosian Davies Street through November 12. Coinciding with the show, Mitchell’s work will also be featured in a show titled The New Black Vanguard, which will be curated by Antwaun Sargent and will be open at the capital’s Saatchi Gallery on October 28. Elsewhere in London art happenings, Avant Arte has tapped Tschabalala Self for its first-ever public artwork.
Gagosian Davies Street
17–19 Davies Street
London, W1K 3DE
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