Sargent’s Daughters is pleased to present Erosion, the debut New York solo show of Jamaican artist Deborah
Anzinger confronts a wide range of subjects through an equally wide range of media, employing living plants,
hair, mirrors and styrofoam. The materials are central to Anzinger’s practice, and carry dichotic messages: aloe
barbadensis possesses an ability to pierce or penetrate flesh (conventionally a phallic trait) as well as a resilience
and ability to heal (usually a feminine attribute); mirrors disrupt the plane of the artwork introducing a moment
of awareness that the viewer in their presence contributes to the syntax of the work; styrofoam, typically a
hazardous environmental waste, serves as a support for living plants. These dualities are embraced both in
material and meaning.
Anzinger’s work aesthetically erodes understandings of land (as it functions in both nature and geopolitics), and
bodies (human and non-human bodies, such as plants and the lifeforms they support). This erosion provides new
space for considering the possibility of the "anthropocene" as an era in which the ability to exert dominance
becomes obsolete. Instead recognized dependence and inseparability may disrupt current notions of hierarchy
and how we define "needs", "priorities" and “capital”.
Her work is a probing and playful inquiry through embodiment and disembodiment, wherein a question emerges
after the one preceding it is answered. In her practice painting, sculpture, environmental art, feminist and race
dialectic meet to raise questions of power, value and being. How do you occupy space? Are the body and mind
spaces there to be penetrated socially and physically, and/or are they that which we penetrate space with? How
do our perceptions of gender and race influence the answers we come up with?
Through transgressions— between the synthetic and the living, between sculpture and painting, between the
artist's hand and the viewer's reflection— the viewer is invited into the systems at play in the work, as an
intimate witness and participant in the new negotiations of value created within it, and the space this opens up.
Deborah Anzinger (b.1978, Kingston, Jamaica) received her BS from Washington College in 2001 and her PhD
from Rush University Medical Center in 2006. She is the founder of contemporary art organization New Local
Space (Kingston, Jamaica). Anzinger’s work has been exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary African
Diasporan Art (Brooklyn, New York), Royal West of England Academy (Bristol, England), the National Art
Gallery of the Bahamas (Nassau City, The Bahamas), the National Gallery of Jamaica, (Kingston, Jamaica) and
Corcoran Gallery of Art, (Washington, DC) and will be included in a forthcoming exhibition at Perez Art
Museum Miami, (Miami, FL) in 2019. Her work has been included in reviews in The New Yorker, Frieze
Magazine, Huffington Post and Artforum and published in Small Axe Journal (Duke University Press) and
Caribbean Quarterly (Taylor & Francis). This will be her first solo exhibition in New York.