Tau Lewis: Vox Populi, Vox Dei



ISBN: 9781644231142 Category:

Tiana Reid, Yves B. Golden, Ebony L. Haynes


Tau Lewis’s mythical sculptures create elaborate portals into fantastic worlds

“At 52 Walker, artist Tau Lewis transmutes the lifeblood of scrap objects into something sanctified. . . . I’m reminded that an art gallery can also be a temple.”New York magazine

Following her acclaimed presentation Divine Giants Tribunal at the 2022 Venice Biennale, Lewis has continued to create anthropomorphic forms inspired by those in Yoruban mask dramas-ones which are spiritually activated by the wearer and the audience and, by extension, their community. Conversing with spiritual and ancestral pasts, Lewis’s works reinvent and reconsider narratives of Greek myths, theater, and death. In this body of work, the artist reexamines apocalyptic themes as an opportunity for reconstruction and transformation. Documenting and expanding on Lewis’s exhibition at 52 Walker titled Vox Populi, Vox Dei, this catalogue contextualizes the artist’s investigations and expressions.

Poetry by the multidisciplinary artist and activist Yves B. Golden complements Lewis’s otherworldly motifs. With a curator’s note by Ebony L. Haynes, this publication also features an essay by Tiana Reid that explores Lewis’s practice, drawing connections between sources that range from Joy James to Frederick Douglass.

Additional information

Weight 458 g
Dimensions 17.2 x 23.9 cm
Publisher name David Zwirner Books
Publication date 14 February 2024
Number of pages 96
Format Hardback
Dimensions 17.2 x 23.9 cm
Weight 458 g


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Born in Toronto, Tau Lewis is a self-taught artist who lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Lewis was included in the 2022 Venice Biennale exhibition The Milk of Dreams, curated by Cecilia Alemani. The Public Art Fund also commissioned work by the artist to be included in the 2022 group presentation Black Atlantic at Brooklyn Bridge Park, New York. The artist has forthcoming solo exhibitions at Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris; Hayward Gallery, London; Haus der Kunst, Munich; and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston. Lewis is represented by Night Gallery, Los Angeles, and Stephen Friedman Gallery, London. Her work is held in the collections of Grinnell College Museum of Art, Grinnell, Iowa; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami; Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Library Collection, New York; and National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa.

Ebony L. Haynes is a writer and curator from Toronto. She is based in New York, where she is a director at David Zwirner. Haynes was a visiting curator and critic at the Yale School of Art in the painting and printmaking class of 2021. She also runs an online "school" that offers free professional practice classes to Black students worldwide.

Tiana Reid is an assistant professor in the Department of English at York University, Toronto. She is a former editor at The New Inquiry and Pinko, and her writing has been featured in Artforum, Dissent, Frieze, The Nation, The New York Review of Books, and The Paris Review, among other publications. She lives in Toronto.

Yves B. Golden is a multidisciplinary artist, writer, and organizer. Her collaborative and solo works have been featured at Caleb Bingham Gallery, University of Missouri, Columbia; ICA, London; Raw Material Company, Dakar, Senegal; Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, London; Springsteen Gallery, Baltimore; and Yaby Project Space, Madrid.