ROBIN HOLDER: USA: The United States of Anxiety/We’re In It Together
November 13, 2021 to January 15, 2022
Robin Holder has been on ArtRage Gallery’s radar for quite some time and we are thrilled to be sharing work from two of her recent series with you. Her art career over the past 20+ years has been motivated by the complexities of racial inequity, social justice and identity, which make her a perfect fit for ArtRage.
We are exhibiting work from her most recent series “COVID-19: We’re In It Together.” She began this series in the spring of 2020 as the pandemic was raging in New York City as a way to honor the first responders, healthcare workers and other essential workers who have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic at great risk to themselves and their families. While this series honors these workers it also reminds us of social, racial and economic injustices that this pandemic brought into even sharper focus. As Holder points out in her artist statement, many of these ‘essential’ workers are people of color who do not receive adequate wages, healthcare, child care, benefits, or pension plans.
The second series on exhibit is entitled, “USA: The United States of Anxiety.” Holder began this series in 2017 but the anxiety seen in these faces is a perfect depiction of the worry, suffering and mental anguish felt by so many in this current moment, in a post/ongoing global pandemic. The houses in the series were inspired by Detroit, but they can just as easily be those in Syracuse. We are exhibiting these tormented faces at the same time as our community is debating how best to spend our federal stimulus funds. This could be and should be a time of recovery for Syracuse, not only from the pandemic but also from the poverty, institutional racism, and social and economic inequality that has existed in our community long before March 2020. We hope this exhibition can help spark some of the important conversations that need to be had in order to create a more equitable society.
Robin Holder’s art invites viewers to explore her multi-layer approach as she plays with color, texture and perspective. There always seems like more to see. But at the heart of her work is a human experience being shared. We hope her work will initiate a conversation with our viewers about what it would look like if everyone’s humanity was truly recognized.
— Kimberley McCoy & Rose Viviano for Artrage Gallery
Robin Holder is a biracial, contemporary artist based in New York/New Jersey. Her research based, mixed technique works are saturated with cultural references that reveal the conflicts of our human experience. Holder’s work, exploring societal access alongside lack of empowerment, provides unique opportunities for challenging discussions about socio-economic imbalances, and the complexities of identity, class, cultural inequity, race, and religion.
Her work is exhibited widely and she is a recipient of grants and awards from the New York State Council on the Arts, the Brooklyn Arts Council, Manhattan Graphics Center, and The Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation; and appears in the collections of, among others, the Library of Congress, the Washington State Arts Commission, and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
This project is made possible with funds from the Decentralization Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature, and administered by CNY Arts.
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Jeff Hoone & Carrie Mae Weems, Mary Kuhn & Dave Thomas,
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Shirley & Larry Novak, Lleni Pach, George Savage, Ellen Schwartz,
Vince Sgambati, Thelie Trotty-Selzer & Jon Selzer,
Ron VanNorstrand, Shaila Wood & Ramesh Gaonkar, and Amy Zamkoff
Bousquet Holstein, PLLC, The Dorothy and Marshall M. Reisman Foundation, Adam Goldberg for Raymour & Flanigan,
Donald Blair & Nancy Dock, Caroline Cargo, Therese A. Deegan,
Sandra Hurd & Joel Potash, Ann Jamison, Rick Olanoff & Susan Wadley,
Nancy & Bruce McCoy, Robert Sarason & Jane Burkhead,
and Sharye Skinner
Walter Putter & Marilyn Smith