Critics' Pick - Uncanny Interiors

Bentley Brown, Artforum, August 1, 2022

"Uncanny Interiors," a group exhibition at Nicola Vassell, tackles a genre essential to the evolution of Western painting and the contemporary self. Despite its "traditional" subject matter, the show foregrounds a critical voice: that of Black individuals, for whom the issue of space and interiority has not only been central, but whose avant-gardism in destabilizing space as form is the unsung bedrock of modernism. Taking cues from bell hooks's 1990 essay "Homeplace: A Site of Resistance," his presentation reveals homemaking as an act of color, shape, sound, feeling, and ultimately beauty, in spite of the wariness and violence that infringes upon its labor.