Patrisse Cullors: Between the Warp and Weft: Weaving Shields of Strength and Spirituality
969 Chung King Rd., Los Angeles, CA 90012
Saturday, June 15 at 6:00 PM 9:00 PM
Ends Jul 20, 2024
Charlie James Gallery is pleased to present Patrisse Cullors: Between the Warp and Weft: Weaving Shields of Strength and Spirituality, the artist’s first solo exhibition with the gallery opening June 15th at CJG in Los Angeles. A deep and resonant exploration of Yoruba culture and the Ifá religion of which Cullors is a practitioner, the exhibition is inspired by Oya, the fierce Orisha (or deity) of transformation and Cullors’ own spiritual guardian. Fusing Malian mud cloth textiles, cowrie shells and metalwork to create what Cullors refers to as “a sanctuary of reflection and empowerment,” the core of the exhibition revolves around the sword of Oya, a spiritual emblem of power, protection and divine justice. Throughout Between the Warp and Weft, Oya's sword transcends its historical significance to address the pressing narrative of our times — the need for protection and reverence for Black women. Cullors’ artistic practice, which is in part inspired by Los Angeles’ Black Arts Movement of the 1960s and 1970s, invites the use of artworks as spiritual guardians, creating a legacy of creative offerings that exist beyond the visual plane and become both urgent cultural commentary and spiritual armor. To this end, Cullors has dedicated each piece in Between the Warp and Weft to a different Black woman in her life to whom she wants to extend protection. “A lot of the work that I’ve done has been around the trauma of being Black in America, and also our resilience,” she explains. “We don't have the cultural right to protect ourselves … but what if we create spiritual objects of protection? On the heels of her inclusion at the Fowler Museum of UCLA’s major exhibition exploring Yoruba sacred arts from Africa and beyond, Between the Warp and Weft is an invitation for viewers to traverse the paths of history and spirituality, to witness the interplay of power, divinity and artistry through the lens of Yoruba and African heritage. The exhibition will be Cullors’ second showing at Charlie James Gallery. In 2023, she participated in a duo show with longtime collaborator noé olivas called Freedom Portals, in which she created tapestries of 12 of the 16 Odús, which are “books” — or signs and symbols — used for divination in Ifá. As part of her continuing artistic practice, Cullors intends to eventually make all 256 signs using vintage Malian mud cloth, metal, cowrie shells and etchings. Cullors’ artwork has been featured at cultural institutions across the country including The Broad, The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, LTD Gallery, Crystal Bridges Museum, Second Home West Hollywood, The Fowler Museum, Frieze LA, The Hammer Museum, Vashon Center for the Arts, Joe’s Pub, Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center and more. Her work also will be featured as part of a major exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) this fall. Cullors was recently selected for a one-year creative strategist-artist residency with the County of Los Angeles Homeless Initiative in which she will collaborate with staff, local organizations and their youth leaders to develop artist-led strategies to dispel myths and shift narratives about people experiencing homelessness. Following her performance at Southern Guild’s Los Angeles opening ceremony in February, Cullors will perform at Los Angeles Contemporary Museums (LACE) on April 26th as part of the organization’s ABUNDANCE series. Her recently announced educational programming as part of her year-long artist residency at the Fowler Museum of UCLA will feature upcoming conversations with Ever Valasquez, Nena Soulfly, Jeannette Charles as well as noé olivas and Cindy Bonaparte. Between the Warp and Weft will be on view at the Charlie James Gallery from June 15, 2024 to July 20, 2024. This exhibition will be located at the gallery’s space at 969 Chung King Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90012. For more information, please contact:
  • Curate LA Partner