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UTA Artist Space to Present INAUGURATION By Conrad Egyir and BETWEEN US By Maya Seas


UTA Artist Space to Present INAUGURATION By Conrad Egyir and BETWEEN US By Maya Seas

UTA Artist Space will present two concurrent solo exhibitions by artists Conrad Egyir and Maya Seas, on view from October 15 through November 13.

In the main gallery space, Conrad Egyir presents Inauguration, an exhibition of all new paintings and drawings, including four monumental paintings that stand seven feet tall. The works build upon the Ghanaian artist's transnational practice, which deftly blends West African and American sensibilities, iconographies, and styles. Elaborating upon the school motifs found in his past work, Egyir returns to the idea of education as a site of growth, individuality, and success, especially for immigrants. In FellowShip, Egyir repurposes the iconic father and daughter of Grant Wood's American Gothic into stylized exaltations of the people in his life-the man is modeled after his former studio assistant-amid Fanti fertility dolls, thriving plants, and classroom objects like pencils and paper ships.

Inauguration follows Egyir's virtual show with UTA Artist Space last year, Class of 2020, which was originally meant for physical exhibition. The artist says, "The past year saw me and a lot of my friends and colleagues having to cope with the cancellations, postponements, and uncertainties the pandemic placed upon us. This is a way for me to take back control of the narrative on my own artistic terms."

In Gallery 3, Maya Seas presents Between Us, an exhibition of new paintings that invoke intimacy and ritual as a means of protection and inner fortitude. Seas says, "In these times of constant global turmoil and grief, I have been focusing my efforts on creating something healing. I am searching my subconscious for moments that carry feelings of safety and peace. My art is a practice of building sanctuaries out of these moments and offering them outwards as prayer."

Seas' paintings draw inspiration from her personal experiences and memories: women adorning each other with henna, close figures sharing secrets and inside jokes. Through the closeness and bonds between the figures depicted, the artist examines moments within her own search for a sense of belonging. The scenes also reflect the artist's experiences with energy healing, mysticism and metaphysics.

"I am thrilled to give these two young artists physical space to exhibit their talents, especially after a year in which many up-and-coming talents felt adrift in isolation," says Arthur Lewis, UTA Fine Arts and UTA Artist Space Creative Director.

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