5 June 2021

Frieze l What to See in South London during Gallery Weekend by Mimi Chu

Jade Montserrat
Bosse & Baum
5 June – 24 July

Jade Montserrat’s first show with Bosse & Baum ‘In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens’ features a series of never previously exhibited watercolour and gouache drawings, thematically linked to Alice Walker’s eponymous 1972 essay, with titles deriving from Montserrat’s 2017 performance at DJCAD, Dundee, No need for clothing (2017). In a powerful metaphor for the treatment of Black women in the American South during the 1920s, Walker observes how ‘frail whirlwinds fell, in scattered particles, upon the ground, no one mourned. Instead, men lit candles to celebrate the emptiness that remained, as people do who enter a beautiful but vacant space to resurrect a God.’ For Walker, the garden is a place where creativity can be kept alive, transmitting the spirits of forgotten generations. In Necessarily Pass Through (2016), a scalp explodes into washes of red, the forms of which are echoed in the tree branches sprouting up from a lavender field in She Made her Fall Glorious (2016), its title taken from James Baldwin’s Go Tell It on the Mountain (1953). Using drawing as a means of releasing that for which, to quote Walker, ‘there was no release’, Montserrat’s works are deceptively complex, combining traces of the artist’s body with iconographies visual and textual, including a votive figurine commemorating a woman’s first communion in 1914 (Notre Dame D’Afrique, 2016) and a 15th-century German woodcut of Noah’s Ark from the Nuremberg Bible (1493).

Read the full article here.