VOLTA NY 2015

March 5, 2015 to March 8, 2015

Artists

Statement

Arnold Joseph Kemp is of the generation of pacesetting artists who became known in New York through participation in the Studio Museum in Harlem’s groundbreaking Freestyle exhibition of 2001. Kemp’s work functions as an indicator of one of the varied directions artists are taking in deploying references to black culture. At the center of the presentation Kemp has placed a hauntingly, enigmatic sculpture titled WHEN WILL MY LOVE BE RIGHT that is made of objects that look found but are actually made by the artist. Accompanying this work are several of Kemp’s photographic images of "aluminums" that speak with a paradoxical coolness of the conflict between competing needs to mask and to express the self that is an aesthetic stance familiar from African art and American jazz. Kemp’s work displays a certain mastery of and irreverence toward history that allows him to move like a jazz musician who plays with the confidence to push blackness into a higher level of abstraction, to push it into silence and poetry.