RAQUE FORD in Looking Back | The 13th White Columns Annual – Selected by Olivia Shao
Friendship Cemetery (The Wise), 2021
53 1/4 x 105 1/4 x 3/8 inches (135.3 x 267.3 x 1 cm)
Raque Ford infuses abstraction with narrative potential, producing layered works that explore how identity is crafted from the remnants of popular culture. Known for her distinctive way with materials, Ford troubles the line between painting and sculpture, using reflective acrylic and transparent Mylar, welded steel chains and laser-cut text. Her high-gloss surfaces are incised with spidery script that quotes from a range of sources: song lyrics, snippets of conversation, excerpts from fiction and diaristic jottings. An accomplished printmaker, she has been a fellow at the renowned Robert Blackburn Workshop, recombining her signature elements into works on paper both intimate and bracing. Deeply attuned to the history of art, Ford channels the tactics of Minimalist masters like Melvin Edwards, Robert Smithson, and Richard Serra toward her own nuanced project. “That’s the interjection of being a woman of color and learning these ways of making sculpture,” she has said. “I want to have their energy, their aggressive scale and material…I’m taking all of that and making it my own.”
Raque Ford (b. 1986, Columbia, Maryland) lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Recent solo presentations include Greene Naftali, New York (2022); 321 Gallery, Brooklyn (2019); CAPITAL, San Francisco (2017); and Shoot the Lobster, New York (2017). Significant group shows include Albright Knox Gallery, Buffalo (2022); MoMA PS1, New York (2021); Morán Morán, Mexico City (2021); Greene Naftali, New York (2020); Kai Matsumiya, New York (2019); Roberta Pelan, Toronto (2017); SculptureCenter, Queens (2016); and Division Gallery, Montreal (2016). Ford’s work is in the collections of the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, and The Museum of Modern Art, New York.