Announcing our NEW public art project – The Platform Gallery!
STEPPING OUT TO STEP IN
June 5 – November 30, 2020
The Delaware Contemporary is excited to announce the unveiling of The Platform Gallery, the launch pad for our public art initiative on the exterior of our building with three monumental, exuberant, and empowering figurative compositions by Theresa Chromati. A key goal for 2020 is to raise the profile of art in our community and make it accessible to the greatest number of people in the public space. The Delaware Contemporary is launching this public art initiative to encourage civic dialogue and community development by turning the exterior of our building into a public exhibition space. Through this public art initiative we will engage EVERYONE who passes on foot, by car, by train, or by bike.
The inaugural Platform Gallery exhibition, Stepping Out to Step In by Theresa Chromati, joins The Delaware Contemporary’s celebration of the suffrage centennial by showcasing the work of an emerging female creative leader on the faces of our building. Three exterior locations, spanning nearly the entire height of the building’s façade, have been selected by Chromati and Curator-in-Residence Kristen Hileman, as sites for the commissioned banners to be displayed. These colossal-scale works will greet those who work and live in Wilmington, and respond to and enliven the city streetscape and views from the close-by railroad and interstate. Chromati’s work for the Platform Gallery project will launch an ongoing series of commissioned banners, rotating twice a year and featuring today’s most relevant and bold artists.
In addition to her three original public banners, Stepping Out to Step In will feature Chromati’s paintings for a solo exhibition in The Delaware Contemporary’s Carole Bieber & Marc Ham Gallery, opening date pending COVID-19 developments. This exhibition is also organized by Kristen Hileman, who over the past decade headed the contemporary department at the Baltimore Museum of Art. Eight large-scale, figurative works will reveal the many ways that Chromati is rethinking the practice of figure painting; including through the use of multi-paneled formats, the application of glitter to surfaces, and ambient sound deployed to create an immersive and poignant viewing environment.
Although not yet 30, Chromati has garnered critical and institutional attention for paintings that burst with color and texture as they present sophisticated compositions that layer and interweave female figures. These bodies are at once imaginative, bordering on abstract, and celebratory as they convey a variety of emotional and spiritual states of being. The artist, who is of Guyanese-American descent, has described the work as evoking different feminine energies, as well as an outlet for self-representation. In the undulating and exquisitely balanced forms one experiences sensual, aesthetic, and psychological complexity and strength. These qualities have roots in the artist’s childhood in Baltimore, where she was surrounded by a tight-knit community of black women.
Chromati’s formal art education includes studies at the DCAD (Delaware College of Art and Design) and the Pratt Institute. Now based in New York City, Chromati has profound connections to several cities, including Wilmington, along the transit and urban corridor served by The Delaware Contemporary.