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David-Jeremiah

I Drive Thee

February 10, 2024–January 26, 2025

David-Jeremiah

David Jeremiah

I Drive Thee

2022
Mixed media, manila rope, spray paint and oil-based enamel on wood panel
60 × 60 in. (152.4 × 152.4 cm)
Private collection, Courtesy of the artist.

The Clark presents the fifth installment of its public spaces series with artist David-Jeremiah (b. 1985, Oak Cliff, Texas; lives and works in Dallas), in his first institutional solo show outside Texas. This exhibition represents an overview of and conclusion to the artist’s cycle of large circular reliefs, or tondos, collectively titled I Drive Thee.

Each tondo, rendered in enamel and rope on wood panel, is inspired by the steering wheel of a Lamborghini. For years, the Italian sports car brand has been David-Jeremiah’s muse, as much for its muscular design as for its mythology, which is steeped in the tradition of Spanish bullfighting: most Lamborghini models are named after famous fighting bulls and the company’s logo shows the animal charging. Both the car and the bullfight reflect the artist’s experience of Black masculinity in America, the first as a symbol of prestige and performance, the second as a spectacle of power and persecution.
 
In this series, the artist is concerned with agency and appetite, asking both who drives and who is driven. The exhibition gathers three essential tondos from private and public collections and concludes the series with a new, site-specific installation. This work, comprised of sculpture, photographs, and video, stages the ceremonial cremation of the final tondo in the series, which represents anima, the soul that survives the vanquished bull. The exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated publication that features the artist’s writing.

This year-long installation, free and open to the public, is organized by the Clark Art Institute and curated by Robert Wiesenberger, curator of contemporary projects.
 
Generous support is provided by Agnes Gund.