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Sydney Vernon: Interior Lives



On View at the Phillips Collection

Wednesdays, Thursdays, May 29, 2024 - Jun 06, 2024. 10 AM-5 PM

Featuring new and recent works that combine elements of painting, drawing, collage, and printmaking, this exhibition invites viewers into Sydney Vernon’s world. Since 2018, Vernon has been superimposing and altering personal family photographs with both real and imagined histories from Black American culture to explore the Black femme experience. After a period of researching and sketching, Vernon projects the images onto paper to create an underdrawing, silkscreens selected areas of patterns, then uses pastels and charcoal to render faces and other details. By reinterpreting the poses and postures of her family members in vintage photographs in her own style, Vernon blends memory and history in new forms.


Vernon’s depictions of intimate interior scenes and familiar spaces complement the paintings by Pierre Bonnard on view at The Phillips Collection. Vernon’s discovery of Bonnard and the other Nabis artists led her to explore more inventive ways of creating painterly marks. “My connection to Bonnard is as a seer and looker, interpreting things that appear as banal, such as how light shines through a window,” she explains.


 


As a native of the DC region, Sydney Vernon (b. 1995, Prince George’s County, Maryland) has grown up visiting museums in the nation’s capital. She studied at the Cooper Union in New York and has shown her work at Sargent’s Daughters, Los Angeles; Kapp Kapp, New York; Luce Gallery, Turin, Italy; and Galerie LJ, Paris France.


 


 

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