Catalog for solo art exhibition On-Site by James Maurelle, at the CUE Art Foundation in New York, NY from September 17th through October 23rd 2021. The exhibition was curated and mentored by Odili Donald Odita. It consists of sculptures and prints crafted from materials such as wood, metal, and found objects that weld form and function with Black cultural histories. Through a formal engagement with a vernacular derived from Black American traditions of making and African woodworking traditions, the work celebrates methods of defiance and achievement in the face of oppressive systems and structures, speaking to what Odita refers to as “the poetics of Black people and the Black experience.
Artist Statement: "There is a correlation formed between labor and creativity, at the center of this byway is the heart of my practice. Building objects are not unlike creating music compositions, the accompaniment, i.e., tools and materials, are a call and response to creativity. The rubric to complete any composition is to know ones’ instrument(s)/tools; the creative process is based on this reciprocal understanding. Jazz is the primer which propels the work, the tone/feel of every composition is in direct association with the culture. Every object I compose is a physical versioning of a historic recording or happening, every tool used is an augmented scale referencing an industrial progression. The materials (wood, metal, plastic, film) are the staff paper, and every committed strike upon these materials forms a note or chord. The fluidity connecting mind, hand, and tools are based on the augmented triad which is the cornerstone of my work ethic. The main objective is to continue creating full-bodied compositions, as long as the staff paper flows, I will inscribe upon it."
Artwork photography: Karen Mauch
Catalog design: Lilly Hern-Fondation
sculpture, Black cultural histories, Black American traditions, African woodworking traditions, wood, metal
Maurelle, James; Odita, Odili Donald; and Hassane, Kinaya, "James Maurelle: On-Site" (2021). Visual and Performing Arts. 1.