In just a few weeks, New York’s Kravets Wehby Gallery will welcome artist Theresa Chromati and her exhibition ‘Running in Place and Sometimes Walking: At Times I Feel Loved and Paralyzed.’ Through her debut solo exhibition in New York, Chromati hones in on the ‘duality of a black woman as she travels through space and time.’ The exhibition reverberates around the following:
The journey of a black hole feels like a secret that traveled in a whisper to reach us
To see what was the unimaginable seduces us to reimagine duality and balance of light and dark
Both equally beautiful and meaningless without the other — We think
What else has held or currently holds space that has yet to be revealed?
Often portraying herself in her works, Chromati works through notions of herself as a black woman, but also offers a platform for women, particularly black women, to explore and embrace themselves. Within ‘Running in Place and Sometimes Walking,’ archways become a prominent component of Chromati’s works. They represent a physical threshold but also act as a metaphorical passageway between the known and unknown. For Chromati and the women she addresses with her works, these archways ‘simultaneously [propel] and [contain] women during their journey forward into the unknown.’ Each work presents a negotiation between what was, what is, and what is to come.
While Chromati has found herself as the focus of many of her works, no two are the same. Through painting and collage, Chromati creates a surrealist world in order to explore and reach a spectrum of issues, emotions, and individuals. Certain motifs run through the exhibition that stand as signifiers. From her use of archways to butterflies and scrotum flowers, which, for Chromati, represent her journey of self-empowerment, freedom, and understanding, each vibrant and glittering detail is steeped with meaning.
Chromati, who isn’t even 30, yet, hasn’t wasted any time, either. Born in Baltimore and currently living in New York, she received her BFA from the Pratt Institute in 2014. In 2016, she held her first solo exhibition, ‘BBW’ (which stands for Big Beautiful Women and took back the acronym), in Baltimore. Soon after, it was followed up by second solo show in 2017 in Los Angeles titled ‘Strange Noise on the Rooftop.’ Most recently, she was part of ‘Punch,’ a 2018 group exhibition curated by artist and curator Nina Chanel Abney, and exhibited at Kravets Wehby Gallery, Untitled Art Fair, Harpers Books, and Outpost Artist Resources. She has also collaborated with a number of projects including HBO’s Random Acts of Flyness and Spotify’s Black Girl Magic playlist.
‘Running in Place and Sometimes Walking’ will open on May 16th and run through June 22nd.
Edited: May 9th