Set It Off, curated by Mickalene Thomas, featuring Kennedy Yanko : Parrish Art Museum | Curated by Racquel Chevremont and Mickalene Thomas
SET IT OFF
CURATED BY RACQUEL CHEVREMONT & MICKALENE THOMAS—COLLECTIVELY KNOWN AS DEUX FEMMES NOIRES
May 22 - July 24, 2022
LEILAH BABIRYE, TORKWASE DYSON, FEBRUARY JAMES, KARYN OLIVIER, KAMEELAH JANAN RASHEED, & KENNEDY YANKO
Curated by Racquel Chevremont and Mickalene Thomas—collectively known as Deux Femmes Noires—Set It Off brings together work by Leilah Babirye, Torkwase Dyson, February James, Karyn Olivier, Kameelah Janan Rasheed, and Kennedy Yanko. Often combining multiple elements of paintings, sculpture, installation, sound, and language, each artist in Set It Offengages the monumental, the site-specific, or the immersive in their practice.
While Dyson and Janan Rasheed employ minimalism and the grid to explore how intellectual, environmental, and architectural infrastructures are perceived and negotiated, James and Babirye create figurative work that examines personal and collective histories in relation to identity. Olivier and Yanko make monumentally scaled works that manipulate everyday objects and materials to activate history and memory. The title, Set It Off—to do something significant, to do something with intensity or with a hurricane-like force, or to change an atmosphere for the better—points to the varied, impactful work.
Set It Off is organized by Parrish Art Museum and Deux Femmes Noires: Racquel Chevremont and Mickalene Thomas, Guest Curators.
Mickalene Thomas was born and raised in New Jersey and lives and works in New York, NY. A multidisciplinary artist and innovative shapeshifter, she recently debuted her critically acclaimed global exhibition, Beyond the Pleasure Principle, on view across spaces in New York, London, Paris, and Hong Kong throughout the 2021 fall season. Outside of her core practice, she is a curator, educator, and mentor to many emerging artists. Thomas continues to cultivate her theme of mentorship through Pratt>Forward, a new platform of which she is a co-founder and director. While simultaneously embarking on monumental solo exhibitions, Thomas curates multiple exhibitions at galleries and museums. She made her curatorial debut in 2009 with exhibitions at Collette Blanchard Gallery and went on to create tête-à-tête, a tour-de-force group exhibition featuring work by emerging and mid-career artists of color that, in and of itself, has transformed into a platform for the artists it represents. The long-term, ever-changing exhibition began in 2012 and has toured nationally and internationally at Galerie Nathalie Obadia, David Castillo Gallery, Georgia Museum of Art, and The Henry Museum, among others.
In 2015, Aperture published Thomas’ preeminent monograph, MUSE: Mickalene Thomas Photographs.; alongside Aperture Gallery’s touring of its respective tête-à-tête globally starting in 2016. Thomas has also curated Better Nights at the Bass Museum and Mickalene Thomas: A Moment’s Pleasure at Baltimore Museum of Art, as well as Better Days, an immersive art exhibition at Volkshaus in Basel, Switzerland.
Racquel Chevremont was born and raised in New York City. A powerful force in the art world, she is sought out for her expertise and experience as an art consultant, advising institutions, corporations, collectors, and artists. Chevremont began her career in the arts through lending work from her personal collection for museum exhibitions. She joined the acquisition committees of the Studio Museum in Harlem and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in 2003, and concurrently co-founded the State Street Salon, a Brooklyn-based hub for artists, curators, and collectors. Since then, Chevremont has curated work for numerous well-known television productions, including Law and Order: Organized Crime, And Just Like That…, Empire, First Wives Club, and the upcoming Netflix movie Leave the World Behind, as well as for gallery exhibitions such as Mining the Archive (2021) with Yancey Richardson Gallery.
Alongside her curatorial and consulting endeavors, Chevremont has also had a long career in modeling. In 1991, two years into her studies at New York University, she was discovered by photographer and Elite model management scout Steve Landis at the HMV on 86th Street. That chance meeting led to a career of over 20 years as a model for Elite model management and Wilhelmina models, which continues to this day.
Support for Set It Off is provided by Susan and Timothy Davis, Sandy and Stephen Perlbinder, Robin and Frederick Seegal, Alexandra Stanton and Sam Natapoff, and George Wells.
Racquel Chevremont and Mickalene Thomas “Set It Off”Ella Martin Gachot, Interview, July 13, 2022
At the Parrish Art Museum, Mickalene Thomas and Racquel Chevremont Curate a Group Show That Breaks Through the NoiseHannah Black, Cultured, June 30, 2022
Mickalene Thomas & Kennedy Yanko: Women Artists “Set It Off” at The ParrishBeth Young, East End Beacon, June 19, 2022
Mickalene Thomas: L.A. Based Artist February James Wants Her Art To Encourage Black Women To ‘Take Up Space’Yolanda Baruch, Forbes, June 16, 2022
Mickalene Thomas & Kennedy Yanko: Group Exhibit “Set It Off” Boldly Challenges History, Identity and Artistic MediumsKelly Pau, Cool Hunting, June 9, 2022
Mickalene Thomas & Kennedy Yanko: Looking For Things to Do? Here’s Where to Go in June (and What to Wear)Lilah Ramzi, VOGUE, June 3, 2022
Mickalene Thomas & Kennedy Yanko: ‘Set It Off’ Brings Six Female Artists Center StageAnnette Hinkle, 27 East, May 30, 2022
Racquel Chevremont and Mickalene Thomas curate a show that subverts traditionMadeleine Beck, Document Journal, May 25, 2022
Mickalene Thomas & Kennedy Yanko: The Personal and the CulturalMark Segal, The East Hampton Star, May 19, 2022
Mickalene Thomas & Kennedy Yanko: “Set It Off,” from Deux Femmes Noires, at Parrish Art MuseumThe New Yorker, May 13, 2022