MoMA PS1 presents the first solo museum exhibition of the work of Alvaro Barrington. Barrington’s multimedia work combines materials including textiles, painting, mixed media, drawing, photography, and print.
Born in Venezuela to Grenadian and Haitian migrant workers, and raised between the Caribbean and Brooklyn, New York, Barrington began to sew as a way to connect with his Grenadian aunts who were masterful sewists. Barrington has explored the formal action of sewing yarn as an entry into this long tradition of a gendered textile art practice, which was documented orally and passed down by the women in his family. His intimate compositions focus on single subjects in close-up, including faces, body parts, and tropical vegetation. Flamboyant tree and hibiscus flowers, in particular, have become personal motifs for the artist. In the series a different world, Barrington amends used postcards found while traveling through Europe illustrating lakes, rivers, and architectural icons with sewed interventions that fundamentally alter these landscapes, asserting an alternate narrative to those contained within stereotypical tourist images. The exhibition is installed with the same associative logic of the artist's studio in London from the last two years.