Houston-based artist Robert Pruitt makes beautifully crafted work, but his exceptional craftsmanship is only a tool for exploring the ways in which African Americans have been represented throughout history. An exhibition of Pruitt’s new work, titled Two Tears in a Bucket: Considering The Alcubierre Metric, is currently on display at Mary Goldman Gallery in Los Angeles. The exhibition presents a series portraits on Kraft paper. Predominately rendered in orange and black, the portraits exude an introspective confidence, but they also suggest a disturbing coalescing of misrepresentation. In Pruitt’s work, Historic imagery merges seamless with contemporary imagery.
The Alcubierre Metric, also known as Alcubierre Drive or, in Start Trek terms, “warp drive,” is a mathematical speculation. Alcubierre Metric proposes a measure of space time in which you can travel faster than light, something that Pruitt hopes to do through his current work. Speeding up the dialogue surrounding representations of African Americans may, hypothetically, launch us into the future.
Pruitt is a member of Houston collective Otabenga Jones & Associates, which participated in the 2006 Whitney Biennial. Pruitt has also shown at the Studio Museum in Harlem and the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston. Two Tears in a Bucket opened on March 15thand runs through April 19th.