Newcomb Art Gallery Explores Identity with Imaginative New Exhibit

Clara Beaumont, Contributing Reporter

Newcomb Art Gallery’s first fall exhibit features two artists, Chakaia Booker, and Katherine Taylor. At first glance, they could not appear more different in style, form and material. Booker’s part of the exhibition is titled “Eradication: A Form of Obsession,” while Taylor’s is titled “One and Together.”

Booker is a New York-based artist who works mostly in recycled materials found in her urban environment. Abandoned rubber tires dominate the majority of her art, especially in this exhibition.

In contrast, Taylor is represented by a gallery in Dallas and inspired by an earthier landscape. As a result, all of her work in “One and Together” takes the form of pottery.

The similarities between Taylor and Booker’s art may initially appear unclear. Senior Curator Sally Main said each artist has the same goals but unique strategies.

“The two exhibits interact well,” Main said. “Each approaches the same concepts of identity in different ways.”

While Booker works with manmade materials such as tires found around the city, Taylor does not have the luxury of living in an urban environment.

“[Taylor] tends to work closer to home, she has a studio in her house,” Main said. “She has her own approach because clay is what she finds around her in Texas.” 

In online photographs, Booker adorns herself in heavy tires, but Newcomb’s exhibit does not include live artwork. Instead, Booker more than demonstrates her identity in her art by wearing her creations throughout life in general.

“Both [artists are] conscious of the powers of material things,” Main said. 

While Taylor’s art cannot be worn, it still provides an undeniably personal connection. Her clay and porcelain creations involve more color than Booker’s. In the exhibition the two artists’ work is arranged separately, Booker’s in one room and Taylor’s in another, but each artist’s viewpoint represents the same subject matter.

“I mean, art is self expression,” Main said. “The closest thing [one can] express is something about you.”

Newcomb debuted Booker’s and Taylor’s exhibitions on Aug. 12 and runs the show until Oct. 2. Main said she hopes to see all kinds of Tulane students exploring the exhibit, not just those interested in the arts. 

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