Platform: Tomashi Jackson—The Land Claim
Tomashi Jackson (b. 1980 Houston, TX) is a multidisciplinary artist working across painting, video, textiles and sculpture who places formal and material investigations in dialogue with recent histories of displacement and disenfranchisement. Jackson has been invited to present new work as part of the Parrish Art Museum’s special Platform project, an annual invitation to an artist to consider the entire Museum as a potential site for works that transcend disciplinary boundaries, encouraging new ways to experience art, architecture, landscape, and community.
Platform: Tomashi Jackson—The Land Claim focuses on the historic and contemporary lived experiences of Indigenous, Black, and Latinx families on the East End of Long Island, and how issues of housing, transportation, and livelihood, migration, and agriculture link these communities. Early in 2020, Jackson met with historians and community advocates from OLA of Eastern Long Island, Eastville Community Historical Society of Sag Harbor, Bridgehampton Child Care & Recreational Center, and the Shinnecock Nation.
The exhibition, which was originally planned to take place in the summer and fall of 2020, prior to the Museum’s temporary closure due to COVID-19, has been postponed to summer 2021, as the culmination of a 12-month phased project which includes a series of public talks with guests interviewed earlier this year; a digital archive, a publication, and learning material based on original drawings and transcripts of the interviews.
In an ongoing partnership with the Parrish that fulfils its mission of presenting process-based projects for Platform, The Watermill Center has invited the artist for a residency from May 12-June 11, 2021 (postponed from this year), as part of their Inga Maren Otto Fellowship for visual artists.
For the Parrish exhibition, Jackson will develop a new body of work, including a series of paintings, video collages, and a site-specific installation based on photographs that will be printed on translucent vinyl strips and suspended from the Museum’s angled rafters. The work will be based on her research, and will include archival images and documents from family, church, historical society archives and her own photographs of local sites.
For The Land Claim, Jackson juxtaposes current and historical racial segregation in the region, similar to her work in the 2019 Whitney Biennial. For that project, she drew a parallel between the destruction of Seneca Village, a free Black community that was razed in the 1850s for the creation of Central Park, and contemporary practices of redevelopment that rely on the targeted dispossession of Black and Brown property owners through the Third Party Transfer Program.
Jackson is particularly interested in the movements and migrations of groups of people, the curtailment of these for populations of color, and how boundary lines are drawn, maintained, and in some ways subverted. Her continued investigation into color, light, and perception, and the effects of these on the value of human life in public space is inspired by Josef Albers’ research on the relativity of color and the unconscious processes by which the brain organizes and reconciles information, resulting in works with exuberant color, bold geometries, and intricate layerings of material.
The exhibition will serve as the basis for inquiry, discussion, and creative production in the Parrish’s educational programs. Exhibition themes will inform student and family workshops, adult docent tours, and gallery discussions.
Platform: Tomashi Jackson—The Land Claim is organized by Corinne Erni, Senior Curator of ArtsReach and Special Projects.
About Tomashi Jackson
Tomashi Jackson’s work was included in the Whitney Biennial 2019. She had solo exhibitions at Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA (2020); Night Gallery, Los Angeles, CA (2020); Tilton Gallery, NY (2019), the Zuckerman Museum of Art in Kennesaw, GA (2018); and group exhibitions at the Contemporary Art Center, New Orleans (2019); MOCA Los Angeles; and MASS MoCA (2017). Her work is included in the collection of MOCA Los Angeles. Artist residencies include Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture and ARCAthens, Greece (2019). Jackson has taught at Rhode Island School of Design, Massachusetts College of Art, Cooper Union, and New York University. She received her MFA in Painting and Printmaking from Yale University School of Art in 2016; her Master of Science in Art, Culture and Technology from the MIT School of Architecture and Planning in 2012; and her BFA from Cooper Union in 2010. Jackson lives and works in Cambridge, MA, and New York City.
Platform: Tomashi Jackson—The Land Claim is made possible, in part, thanks to the generous support of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; National Endowment for the Arts; The Dorothy Lichtenstein ArtsReach Fund, established by Agnes Gund; The Deborah Buck Foundation; and Sandy and Stephen Perlbinder. Public Funding provided by Suffolk County.