Diedrick Brackens
6/5/2021 - 9/5/2021

Drawing on textile and weaving traditions from across the Americas, Africa, and Europe, Diedrick Brackens (American, born 1989) creates intricate tapestries that interrogate personal stories and shared cultural experiences. Formally rooted in postwar American art movements, Brackens’s compositions fuse the language of abstraction with narrative-driven figuration.

He approaches weaving with a collage sensibility, piecing together photographs of his models, self-portraits, images taken from the Internet, and family photos. Through this idiosyncratic lexicon, Brackens has mined his family’s history and their multigenerational hometown in East Texas, while exploring his identity as a queer, Black man. Working primarily with cotton, the artist pays homage to “those who came before” him, including his own grandmother, who worked as a cotton-picker during her childhood. Continuing his engagement with race in America, Brackens will soon embark on a new project that considers the African American diaspora through the lens of the Underground Railroad.

A Riley Contemporary Artists Project (CAP) Gallery exhibition, supported by Douglas County, Catherine & Terry Ferguson, and Sara Foxley.

What's Pictured: Diedrick Brackens (American, born 1989), blessed are the mosquitoes, 2020, woven cotton and acrylic yarn, 82 x 79 inches. © Diedrick Brackens. Courtesy of the artist, Jack Shainman Gallery, New York and Various Small Fires, Los Angeles.