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Surprising Materials and Literal Pathways: The Tapestries of Igshaan Adams

06.29.21 | By
Surprising Materials and Literal Pathways: The Tapestries of Igshaan Adams
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Igshann Adams’ tapestries are composed of colorful nylon rope, gold and silver chains, seashells, wood, and glass beads. Even more intriguing, they are all inspired by remnants of decaying linoleum floors. His exhibition “Veld Wen” is on view at Casey Kaplan Gallery in New York through July 30th, 2021.

DIE GROT EN DIE GOUE VENSTERS (the cave and the golden windows), 2021. Wood, plastic, stone beads, polyester and nylon rope, chain, cotton twine

DIE GROT EN DIE GOUE VENSTERS (the cave and the golden windows), 2021 (detail)

The title of the exhibition “Veld Wen” is an Afrikaans phrase that means “to gain ground” and can be read both figuratively and literally. Born in South Africa, Adams references the worn linoleum flooring from the homes of childhood friends and neighbors, elevating the repetitive daily movements within them. After removing the floors for reference, the artist provides his neighbors with new flooring.

N PLATFORM VAN STILTE (a platform of stillness) 2021. Wood, plastic, stone and shell beads, polyester and nylon rope, metal chain, fabric, cotton twine

N PLATFORM VAN STILTE (a platform of stillness) 2021. (detail)

Every tapestry is a surprise when you approach. The variety of materials often trigger personal memories or experiences, but also offer unexpected visual treats. Muted brownish colors suddenly explode with color when standing within a few feet, while other areas reveal themselves as high-polished gold or silver chains.

NAGREIS OP N VLIENDE PERD (a night journey on a winged horse) 2021. Wood, plastic, stone, metal and glass beads, polyester and nylon rope, chain, cotton twine

NAGREIS OP N VLIENDE PERD (a night journey on a winged horse) 2021. (detail)

Adams’ own upbringing is multi-layered and complex. He was born Muslim and raised by Christian grandparents in the former “Cape Coloured” township of Bonteheuwel, South Africa. His reworking of the linoleum’s original pathways examines his own complex history while also offering an invitation for viewers to explore their own unique pathways.

RENTMEESTERIN (stewardess) 2021. Wood, plastic, glass, shells, paint and stone beads, polyester and nylon rope, chain, fabric, cotton twine

RENTMEESTERIN (stewardess) 2021 (detail)

Installation view: Igshaan Adams, Veld Wen, Casey Kaplan, New York, May 1 – July 30, 2021.

Hanging throughout the exhibition are five cloud-like sculptures created from wire fencing and other remnants from the studio. They are inspired by a celebratory dance once performed by his grandparents called ”Rieldans”. The traditional dance kicks and incorporates dust to a stunning effect within the performer’s movements.

GETUIE (witness) v, 2021. Metal, rubber and glass beads, metal charms (horns), metal wire and chain, resin

GETUIE (witness) i, 2021. Metal, plastic, glass and rubber beads, metal wire, car paint, resin

Installation view: Igshaan Adams, Veld Wen, Casey Kaplan, New York, May 1 – July 30, 2021.

“Veld Wen” is an exhibition that ignites curiosity at every turn, sparkles with every step, and finds a comforting connection in all our unique pathways.

Installation view: Igshaan Adams, Veld Wen, Casey Kaplan, New York, May 1 – July 30, 2021.

What: Igshaan Adams: Veld Wen
Where: Casey Kaplan Gallery, 121 West 27th St, New York
When: May 1 – July 30, 2021

All Artwork & Installation images photographed by Jason Wyche, ©Igshaan Adams, Courtesy the artist and Casey Kaplan, New York.
Detail images photographed by author David Behringer

David Behringer visits over 200 galleries every month to uncover and share the most exciting contemporary art in New York today. Subscribe to his exclusive weekly newsletter at www.thetwopercent.com and learn about his private gallery tours. And be sure to check out his YouTube.