"After Image" 2019
Memories play a powerful role in our lives. They shape our perceptions and inform how we understand ourselves and the world around us. From the riotously colorful installations of the Clayton Brothers to the diaphanous fabric homes of Do Ho Suh, contemporary artists find inventive ways to visually represent memories, despite their inherent intangibility.
Detroit-based artist Tyanna Buie is keenly aware of how moments from the past can reverberate in the present. Separated from her mom at the age of four and placed into the foster care system, Buie did not grow up with the comforts of a stable home environment or familial consistency. Reconnecting with her family as an adult, she began to revisit her own memories and those of her relatives - excavating buried stories, shared experiences, and recollections of lost keepsakes. For this exhibition, Buie reconstitutes her family's collective history as a series of large-scale prints and delicate porcelain objects.
The imagery and objects in Buie's work are drawn from the few dozen photographs of her family that still exist. Her printing process incorporates up to fifteen separate layers of inked color, and the resulting compositions appear mottled, almost aqueous. Unlike the sharpness of a photographic reproduction, the faces, figures, and objects in Buie's prints are simplified: forms are softened and edges bleed into each other, much like a hazy after-image that remains in our vision.
Through her art, Buie critically examines and pays homer to her history, reclaiming her memories as an empowering foundation from which to define her present and build her future.
- Leah Kolb, Curator of Exhibitions, MMOCA