Tiona Nekkia McClodden: MASK / CONCEAL / CARRY


In her work traversing film, installation, sculpture, painting, and writing, Tiona Nekkia McClodden considers the presence and absence of the Black figure and aesthetic tropes of representation


ISBN: 9781644231081 Category:


Tiona Nekkia McClodden considers the presence and absence of the Black figure and aesthetic tropes of representation through work traversing film, installation, sculpture, painting, and writing.


“An artist who may be America’s most essential today.” – Siddhartha Mitter, The New York Times


Known for her poignant examinations of biomythography and identity, McClodden uses a research-based approach in her practice as an artist and self-described “historian and cultural custodian.” MASK / CONCEAL / CARRY dissects the many meanings of “masking,” “concealing,” “carrying,” and their opposites, revealing the constant contradiction and harmony between these actions. In this body of work, McClodden creates sculptural meditations on guns-a gold and silver chainmail helmet and a leather molded magazine of an AR15 assault rifle. Through custom lighting, the artist carefully choreographs a performance between the work, space, and viewer.

Adding to McClodden’s narrative and psychological concepts, this publication includes a curator’s note from Ebony L. Haynes, a poem by the acclaimed writer and artist Rhea Dillon, and a conversation between the poet Simone White and the artist, as well as a statement penned by McClodden herself.

Additional information

Weight 482 g
Dimensions 17.2 x 23.8 cm
Publisher name David Zwirner Books
Publication date 14 February 2024
Number of pages 96
Format Hardback
Contributors Text by Rhea Dillon
Dimensions 17.2 x 23.8 cm
Weight 482 g


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Born in 1981 in Blytheville, Arkansas, Tionna Nekkia McClodden was a resident of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Madison, Maine, in 2018. McClodden's multidisciplinary solo exhibition The Trace of an Implied Presence, which is coproduced in partnership with Nike, opened at The Shed, New York, in August 2022. The artist was selected to participate in the 2019 Whitney Biennial, and among the seventy-five artists exhibited she was the recipient of the Bucksbaum Award. She is the founder and director of the exhibition space and library Conceptual Fade, in Philadelphia. The artist is represented by Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York. Work by McClodden is held in public collections such as The Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Rennie Museum, Vancouver. The artist lives and works in Philadelphia.

Ebony L. Haynes is a writer and curator from Toronto. She is based in New York, where she is a senior director at David Zwirner and curator of 52 Walker.

Rhea Dillon is an artist, writer, and poet based in London. Examining and abstracting her intrigue of the "rules of representation" as a device to undermine contemporary Western culture, Dillon questions what constitutes the ontology of Blackness versus the ontic.

Simone White is a poet and critic. She is the author of or, on being the other woman (2022), Dear Angel of Death (2018), Of Being Dispersed (2016), and House Envy of All the World (2010). She teaches in the English department at the University of Pennsylvania and lives in Brooklyn.