Wilding Cran: The Air Upon You

6 Oct-22 Oct 2022


LA-based gallery Wilding Cran presents The Air Upon You, a group exhibition with a selection of new works by LA-based artists Mustafa Ali Clayton, Michelle Blade, Karon Davis and February James.

In a celebration of both the monumental and everyday moments that have the power to bring us pause, The Air Upon You deciphers the frameworks that form our individual perceptions of the spaces we inhabit, reflecting the temporality and agency inherent to acts of creation.

At the heart of the exhibition, Karon Davis’s white plaster Venus serves as a guiding point, setting the stage for works by Blade, Clayton, and James. In contrast to Davis’s textured nude figure, Mustafa Ali Clayton’s larger-than-life ceramic heads are coated in a mirrored ebony glaze. Despite their distinct approaches, both Davis and Clayton’s pay homage to the ancestry of material iconography, presenting statuesque works that render a sense of tactility to the lineage of healing.

In a departure from the graceful countenance of each of Clayton’s figures, February James strips away at the visage of her subjects, using watercolor, acrylic, oil pastel, charcoal, and spray paint to create portraits that capture the pathos of that which is hidden within our interactions with one another. Juxtaposed with the haunting nature of James’s work, Michelle Blade embeds figures within her representations of the Southern California landscape, allowing the body and the natural world to bloom and bleed poetically across her signature poplin canvases.

By bringing each artist’s explorations of the figurative into dialogue with one another, The Air Upon You invites the viewer into a space charged with catharsis, compassion, and agency. Immersed in a palimpsest of past and present, the subjects of each work serve as theatrical players, permeating the emotional terrain that lies between embodiment and transcendence.

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