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Patrice Renee Washington

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Patrice Renee Washington (based in New York City) works primarily in sculpture and ceramics to investigate structures of race, class, and gender as they relate to the construction of identity and experience. Through use of objects and cultural signifiers, she considers how identity can be manipulated and shaped to explore alternative understandings.

Featured Artwork (Tab to skip section.)

2016

Anti-Grip Supremacist Resistance Trainer 5000

Courtesy of the artist and Marinaro Gallery, New York

Glazed stoneware

2017

Coded Mechanisms

Courtesy of the artist and Marinaro Gallery, New York

Glazed ceramic, chain, PVC, and hardware | Installation image by Impart Photography

These ceramic renditions of exercise equipment include gymnastic rings and a pull-up bar sculpted in black and brown clays. The sculptures bear traces of the artist’s fingerprints, a reminder that not even workout equipment is untouched by the working of racism in the United States. In Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s 2011 dissent of the Court’s decision that prison overcrowding in California violated the ban on cruel and unusual punishment, he wrote that many of the individuals who would be released as result “will undoubtedly be fine physical specimens who have developed intimidating muscles pumping iron in the prison gym.”

Anti-Grip Supremacist Resistance Trainer 5000 confronts the stereotypes and fear mongering that the Supreme Court Justice was articulating. It also points to the fallacies of the great American myth that anyone can “pull themselves up” merely through willpower and perseverance. And yet, with an emphasis on training and resistance, the works also point to what can be accomplished through the force of will and the power of the people.

Patrice Renee Washington’s work is also featured in the following Barring Freedom study guide: Abolition Futures

Patrice Renee Washington (based in Newburgh, NY) has shown in solo and group exhibitions across the United States, including solo exhibitions at both Marinaro Gallery, Brooklyn; Underdonk Gallery in Brooklyn; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver. Group exhibitions include shows at Jenkins Johnson Gallery, Brooklyn; We Buy Gold, Brooklyn; Sculpture Center, Queens; the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, Denver; Zeitgeist, Nashville; Abrons Art Center, New York; 47 Canal, New York, and Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts, Brooklyn. Residencies include Abrons Arts Center; Anderson Ranch Arts Center; Snowmass, CO; Lighthouse Works; Fishers Island, NY; the Museum of Art and Design, NY, and the Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, VT.

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