Sonya Clark: Tatter, Bristle, and Mend
National Museum of Women in the Arts
Washington, D. C.
View the online exhibition of the first survey of Sonya Clark’s 25-year career. Clark is renowned for her mixed-media works that address race and class, celebrate Blackness and reimagine history. This mid-career survey includes the artist’s well-known sculptures made from black pocket combs, human hair and thread as well as works made from flags, currency, beads, sugar, cotton plants, pencils, books, a typewriter and a hair salon chair. The artist transmutes each of these objects through her application of a vast range of fiber-art techniques: Clark weaves, stitches, folds, braids, dyes, pulls, twists, presses, snips or ties within each work. By stitching black thread cornrows and Bantu knots onto fabrics, rolling human hair into necklaces and stringing a violin bow with a dreadlock, Clark manifests ancestral bonds and reasserts the Black presence in histories from which it has been pointedly omitted.
[Image: Sonya Clark, Rooted and Uprooted, 2011; Canvas and thread, each 30 x 12 x 12 in.; On loan from the artist; © Sonya Clark; Photos by Taylor Dabney]