Artist Deborah Roberts on Yinka Shonibare exhibition and why 'black is not a colour any more'
BY Ben Luke EVENING STANDARD June 6, 2018
"Shonibare taps into what he calls the “magic and subversive beauty” of art, addressing “the spirit of African resistance and representation”. For Roberts, the show is about diversity within blackness. 'It is not a colour any more,” she says. “So what does that mean, what does blackness mean? This show exudes blackness in a way that has never been seen before.'"
statement of black female identity
BY Sharon Mizota LA TIMES May 29, 2018
"Roberts’ works capture perfectly what it feels like to have assumptions and expectations foisted upon you, to feel like a collection of pieces instead of a person. If you are lucky, you will also be buoyed and strengthened by the traces of those who came before, in the creation of someone unprecedented."
BY Amy Larocca
The New York Magazine, February 5, 2018 Issue
"The artist Deborah Roberts creates multimedia collages concerned with the challenges faced by black women and girls. 'I think all girls, but in particular black girls, start to question their own ideas of beauty when they're around 8 or 9," Roberts says. 'Black society is a matriarchal society. We assert our independence much earlier because we have to. These girls are powerful and vulnerable at the same time.'"
"For this project, Roberts, who frequently creates images of young girls, used more adults than she usually does–Rihanna's eyes, Michelle Obama's arms, and Issa Rae's hands, among others. She calls these subjects her "breakthrough women" and imagines them as the future of the girls she typically depicts. 'These women, they broke through!' she says, 'They told Misty Copeland she was too short, too old. She broke through! Rosa Parks sat down and didn't get up. She broke through!'"
“The Evolution of Mimi,” which conflates the album titles “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” and Carey’s “The Emancipation of Mimi,” puts selections from the last decade of Roberts’ work onto the walls of the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art.
“Lauryn Hill was so powerful and she knew who she was and her own identity,” Roberts says. “And Mariah Carey was going through this thing where people [were questioning] whether she was black or not, whether she was black enough. I wanted to merge those two ideas into what was black feminism.”
Here’s the List of 19 Emerging Artists to Feature in New Studio Museum Show
BY Carolyn Twersky POSTED 08/23/17 2:34 PM
Deborah Roberts, The Bearer, 2017.
COURTESY THE ARTIST AND FORT GANSEVOORT
The Studio Museum in Harlem announced the list of 19 artists to show this fall in “Fictions,” the fifth of the institution’s so-called “F-series” exhibitions of emerging artists. (Past F-series shows, dating back to 2001, have included “Freestyle,” “Frequency,” “Fore,” and “Flow.”)
Opening September 14 and continuing into January 2018, “Fictions” was curated by the museum’s associate curator for its permanent collection, Connie H. Choi, and assistant curator Hallie Ringle. Works in the show draw on a variety of media and, as a group, “investigate the complexities of the contemporary moment,” according to a description of the show.
In a statement, Thelma Golden, the Studio Museum’s director and chief curator, said, “I am thrilled that Hallie and Connie are continuing the legacy of our beloved ‘F-shows’ with a new presentation of a diverse group of artistic voices, bringing to Harlem insightful perspectives from locations around the country, including Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, and Texas.”
The emerging artists to be presented in “Fictions” are as follows:
Deborah Roberts: One and Many
November 29th, 2014 – BETSY HUETE
With the exception of one misstep, One and Many, Deborah Roberts’ current solo show at Art Palace, is raw, painful, beautiful, grotesque, vulnerable, and vicious. The first line of her handout quotes James A. Baldwin: “People are trapped in history and history is trapped in them.” Roberts carries on her shoulders the Post-Black ideologies that she grapples with. Through paint, collage, and sculpture, she is locating herself within three histories she has inherited—of being black, of being a woman, and of being an artist working within the largely white, chauvinistic modernist vocabulary of photocollage and abstract painting.
Pollock- Krasner Foundation Grant 2016- 2017 grantee
Stephen Friedman Gallery: "Talisman In The Age Of Difference", June 5 - July 21, 2018
Luis De Jesus Los Angeles: "Fragile But Fixable" Solo Exhibition. May 12 - June 16, 2018
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts: Artist Talk. March 28, 2018 12pm-1pm
Syracuse University: Artist Talk. March 1, 2018 6pm-8pm
Luis De Jesus Los Angeles: "SOUL RECORDINGS", Feb 17, 2018 - March 24, 2018
Jenkins Johnson Gallery: "Deborah Roberts, Uninterrupted", Feb 1, 2018- March 17, 2018
Spelman College Museum of Fine Art: "Deborah Roberts: The Evolution of Mimi", Jan 25, 2018 - May 19, 2018
Bakalar & Paine Galleries at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design: "Legacy of the Cool : A Tribute to Barkley L. Hendricks", Jan 17, 2018 - March 3, 2018
Miami ArtBasel in Miami, FL: December 5-10, 2017.
Fort Gansevoort Gallery in New York City, NY: "Ingenue", November 9, 2017- December 23, 2017.
Art Expo Fair Chicago, Chicago, Ill: Jenkins -Johnson Gallery, Sept 14-17, 2017.
Studio Museum of Harlem in Harlem, NY: "Fictions", September 1, 2017-January 7 2018.
National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago, Ill: "The House on Mango Street Exhibition", April 2015- Summer of 2016.