Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum
If someone was looking for extant portals to parallel universes, Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum’s paintings and works on paper would surely be one. While rich in colors and exquisitely appealing to the senses, her vivid tableaux deviate from the passivity and escapism her mediums could elicit and, instead, conjure alternate realities for the viewer. Her work sits within the larger web of African futurists who similarly hone in on postcolonialism, neocolonialism and transcultural identities; however, the works’ specificity lies in the artist’s unique understanding of the radical role played by imagination. Through an alter ego whom she calls Asme (as me), and by way of distinct painting techniques that allow for traces of drawing to remain visible under the layers of paint, Sunstrum renders visible the resolute otherness and newness that the present encompasses, turning imagination into both a creative and revolutionary practice.
The exhibition will present the largest display of works by Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum to date, and will be accompanied by the launch of the first monograph devoted to the artist’s work, co-published with Tiwani and Goodman Gallery (UK/South Africa.)
Valentine Umansky, Curator of Lens-Based Art at the Contemporary Arts Center