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Erasure's Edge

A Solo Exhibition of Work by Noel W. Anderson

November 19th, 2022 – January 22nd, 2022

Reception: Friday, November 18, 2022, 5:30-8pm


In Erasure’s Edge, Louisville-born, New York-based artist Noel W. Anderson (b. 1981) compiles a series of newer and older works that parse through multiple interpretations for erasure, probing its meaning as an action or instance of erasing, as well as a site where something has been erased. By means of his ongoing alterations of vintage Ebony magazines and Jacquard tapestries, Anderson filters found images from a personal archive and from pop culture through specific art and craft media that help bring African American history and trauma into a critical discourse about Black representation within the often-complicated areas of American art, sports, and entertainment.


With a growing collection of mugshots, police photography, and media representations of Black men and culture that binds the Black body in a space of physical and conceptual confinement, Anderson’s artistic practice offers ways to untangle and even repair some of the adverse effects of our inherited systems of colonialism and white supremacy. Brushing chemicals onto the pages of Ebony magazines and onto the surfaces of woven tapestries helps erase portions of the printed image to reveal a new space and a new way of seeing. For Anderson, discovering the full scope of ideas that erasure can represent provided a process whereby “the erased page became a promising site/sight,” a promise that his artistic practice of erasure might clear a space for better images of the Black experience and heal the pain of misrepresentation and negative stereotypes that often proliferate in the public space. Erasure’s Edge is his challenge to “the demonization and criminalization of African American men through the hyper-visibility and circulation of violent representations of Black peoples.”

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Anderson’s practice is more than a conceptual scrutiny of media, it also involves intimate encounters with materials that generate an intensive and reflective response to actions as they relate to the history of African American subjugation and labor. Rehabilitating the media image and reclaiming the machinery and the elemental contents of his work, Anderson moves through the careful actions of brushing, mending, picking apart and rearranging the properties of his materials to achieve a more subjective and empowering self-awareness. Through his personal and artistic journey combing through our material culture to find its role in shaping how Race in America is perceived, Anderson’s work provides a guide to wrestling control of our self-image from corporate media interests.

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