Rico Gatson, a Brooklyn, N.Y.-based artist, will explore complex issues related to identity and race in his multimedia installation at Minnesota College of Art and Design (MCAD) Gallery, currently on view through February 17, 2008. Rico Gatson, a Brooklyn, N.Y.-based artist, will explore complex issues related to identity and race in his multimedia installation at Minnesota College of Art and Design (MCAD) Gallery, currently on view through February 17, 2008.
Right: Rico Gatson, Kathleen Cleaver
Based loosely on the notions of fractal geometry and indigenous design, Gatson's work links the African diaspora and symbols persistent throughout American history. In a range of work that includes video, sculpture, painting, drawing, and performance, he recalls seminal moments and figures--Muhammad Ali's "rumble in the jungle," a slave trader's auction block, the images of Black Panther activists Angela Davis and Kathleen Cleaver--through means that at first appear at odds with the message.
For Gatson, like so many other artists of his generation, the history of visual culture--symbols and high art, film and African textiles--is yet another source of reference and recall that expands the way images are enacted and altered, co-opted and ultimately manipulated.
Gatson was born in Augusta, Ga., in 1966 and raised in Riverside, Calif. He now resides in Brooklyn, N.Y. He studied at Bethel College in St. Paul, MN before completing his MFA at the Yale School of Art in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1991. His work has been included in numerous exhibitions, including Freestyle and Black Belt at The Studio Museum in Harlem; Greater New York 2005 at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center; and Fight or Flight at the Whitney Museum of American Art at Altria. He was an artist-in-residence at Franconia Sculpture Park in Taylors Falls, Minnesota, in 1998 and received a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award in 2001. He is represented by Ronald Feldman Fine Arts in New York.
MCAD is recognized nationally and internationally for its innovative approaches and is home to more than 800 students pursuing Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Science and Master of Fine Arts degrees. The College offers majors in Advertising, Animation, Comic Art, Drawing, Filmmaking, Fine Arts Studio, Furniture Design, Graphic Design, Illustration, Painting, Photography, Print Paper Book, Sculpture and Web and Multimedia Environments.
MCAD is located at 2501 Stevens Ave. in south Minneapolis, adjacent to The Children's Theatre Company and The Minneapolis Institute of Arts. For more information: www.mcad.edu