Pen + Brush is pleased to announce its publication of Deborah Jack: 20 Years, a retrospective catalogue following the exhibition of the same name, which opened at Pen + Brush in New York City on September 21, 2021. This catalogue is the first comprehensive publication dedicated entirely to exploring and contextualizing two decades of work by Jack. Featuring thoughtful yet critical essays by Grace Aneiza Ali, Elizabeth DeLoughery, Jessica Lanay, and Dr. Hershini Young, Jack is positioned exactly where she needs to be in the canon of art history: as a pioneer of visual nuance when it comes to ancestral memory, colonial histories, and the role of land and sea in contemporary art.
In this exhibition catalogue, through the eyes of renowned scholars, Pen + Brush, and indeed, Jack herself, a record of a perspective-shifting artist at work—who has been at work— is established. From the early millennium to present day, Jack’s photo, collage, video and installation works are laid out together for the first time as an artist capturing the nexus of past (ancestral) traumas and present-day tensions. The Caribbean and, indeed, the island Saint Martin, are featured prominently in Jack’s work and therefore in the essays surrounding it. But as much as Jack’s work is about the island, it is also a roadmap for addressing both our present and our past, universally. As curator Parker Daley Garcia has stated: “Contemporary art, like all art before it, never directly influences current politics, but through its divergence—it creates freedom, not just forging space for new conventions, but inventing it.”
As for Pen + Brush, we believe it is our duty to provide publications like Deborah Jack: 20 Years. Artists like Deborah Jack are why P+B continues to rally, even and especially, in uncertain times. As our board Vice President, Dr. Rashidah Ismaili AbuBakr, has repeatedly said, “When a voice is lost, we all lose something.” We believe that to our core. Our work, like Jack’s, is the type of work that you cannot walk away from. It’s too important.
So, it is with great pleasure and hope that we announce this publication and offer it for sale to the public. This catalogue was created by Pen + Brush, a 129-year-old non-profit, with Grace Aneiza Ali, Elizabeth DeLoughery, Jessica Lanay, and Dr. Hershini Young, because we believe in the work of Deborah Jack.
This catalogue was supported, in part, by the Dutch Culture USA program and the Consulate General of the Netherlands in New York.
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