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Introduction

Dominic Chambers (b. 1993 St. Louis, MO; lives and works in New Haven, CT) creates vibrant paintings that engage art historical models, such as Color Field theory and gestural abstraction, along with contemporary concerns around race, identity, and the necessity for leisure. Chambers is interested in how art can function as a mode for understanding, recontextualizing, or renegotiating one’s relationship to the world, and views painting as a critical and intellectual endeavor, as much as it is aesthetic.

Dominic Chambers - Exhibitions - Tephra ICA

Dominic Chambers
Shadow Work, 2021
Oil on linen
56 x 66 inches
Image courtesy of the artist

Chambers draws inspiration from literature with a special focus on the theory of Magical Realism and the writing of W.E.B. Du Bois, particularly Du Bois’ The Souls of Black Folk, and one of its central themes―the veil. The veil is a product of racial injustice that provides a metaphorical lens through which Black bodies are observed and experienced, and references to the veil appear throughout the artist’s work, often times in large swaths of color that obscure the figures in the Wash Paintings series, or in the recurring use of a raindrop motif as both an active and passive element in Chambers’ work. Many of Chambers’ compositions incorporate fabulist elements, including ghostly silhouettes that serve as stand-ins for the artist and surreal landscapes that feel familiar yet unplaceable.

Biography

Chambers received a BFA from Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, Milwaukee, WI in 2016, and an MFA from Yale University School of Art, New Haven, CT in 2019.

Solo exhibitions of his work have been organized at The August Wilson African American Cultural Center, Pittsburgh, PA (2020); Luce Gallery, Turin, Italy (2020); The Millitzer Studio and Gallery, St. Louis, MO (2017); and the Residential Gallery, Des Moines, IA (2017). Select group exhibitions featuring his work include Black Bodies, White Spaces: Invisibility & Hypervisibility, Green Family Foundation, Dallas, TX (2021); Realms of Refuge, Kavi Gupta, Chicago, IL (2021); Art Finds a Way, Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, FL (2020); Synchronicity, Roberts Projects, Los Angeles, CA (2020); and Abstractions of Black Citizenship: African American Art from Saint Louis, Hedreen Gallery, Seattle University, Seattle, WA (2020).

Chambers’ work can be found in a number of private and public collections, including the Green Family Foundation, Dallas, TX; Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Los Angeles, CA; and Pérez Art Museum Miami, Miami, FL. Chambers is the recipient of the Robert Reed Drawing Scholarship, Yale University (2018); Ellen Battell Stoeckel Fellowship, Yale Norfolk School of Art (awarded through Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design) (2015); and the Varsity Art XVIII Award, St. Louis Community College – Florissant Valley, St. Louis, MO (2014). He has completed residences at the New York Studio Residency Program, Brooklyn, NY (2015), and the Yale Norfolk School of Art (2015).

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