LVL3 presents, Circle Within a Square, a two-person exhibition featuring Bernadette Despujols and Brittney Leeanne Williams. Despujols’ violent, painterly style confronts contemporary mythologies of women while Williams’ transcendent use of deep red nods to generational and embodied feminine roles.
Williams’ paintings feature black women prominently in the composition, blending foreground and background, landscape and subject. The bodies are bent: their postures suggest a state of rest, a burden carried, lovemaking, being anchored. Williams uses these figures and their positionality to reference her own relationship to family history while at the same time speaking about chronicled female characters such as Naomi and Ruth from the Book of Ruth.
Despujol’s sculptures and paintings speak about the female body in today’s cultural and social contexts, questioning and embracing notions of objectification and intimacy. Despujol’s compositions depict naked sitting female-bodied figures in their home, on a bed or sitting on a man’s lap; forcing a viewer to question whether the scene depicted is intrusive or empowering. Similarly lonely and internal, Despujol’s interruptions of objects and furniture designed for the body are transfigured to become the body in question.
Bending, sitting, propped on chairs or inside a vast landscape, Despujols and Williams’ figures disrupt space through their dynamic expressions of womanhood.
Saturday 11 January, 2020