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.