Crystal Yayra Anthony. A Glimpse of Us

14 May 2024 – 27 Sep 2024

Regular hours

12:00 – 18:00
12:00 – 18:00
12:00 – 18:00
12:00 – 18:00

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The International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP) presents A Glimpse of Us, the first solo exhibition in the United States of the work of Crystal Yayra Anthony. This presentation debuts a new group of paintings made by the artist during her recent residency at ISCP.

In these vibrant, expressive portraits, Anthony captures unguarded moments from everyday life. While initially known for rendering her subjects in the nude, in her latest works she explores another form of intimacy—deeply felt connections between her and her friends in her hometown of Accra, Ghana. When creating these paintings in New York, far from family and friends, Anthony was overcome by profound feelings of nostalgia. Drawing upon memories and a personal archive of cell phone video footage, she depicts tender and lighthearted scenes of her closely-knit community. 

Anthony’s figures inhabit real-life settings infused with enigmatic elements—a dreamy purple interior unites three of the paintings, and in one large-scale work, the artist appears against a lush landscape with a candy-hued sunset. Brushy passages of sensuous color are combined with lyrical finger painting, a technique Anthony began exploring when looking at African rock art. Guided in part by the mentorship of Ghanaian painter Amoako Boafo, she has developed her own stylized mark-making to add depth to her figures and celebrate Black identity. For Anthony, her candid portraits convey private instances in which the artist and her peers are freed from the societal pressures and expectations frequently placed upon them in Ghana.

Crystal Yayra Anthony is a self-taught artist based in Accra, Ghana. She was a resident at ISCP from December 1, 2023 to February 29, 2024. Her work has been exhibited at museums and galleries around the world including Kunsthalle Krems, Austria; PM/AM Gallery, London; Dot Ateliers, Accra, Ghana; Gallery OCA, London; and Mitochondria Gallery, Houston, Texas.

This exhibition is curated by Melinda Lang, ISCP’s Director of Programs and Exhibitions.

Crystal Yayra Anthony: A Glimpse of Us is supported by Tauck Ritzau Innovative Philanthropy; Dennis Elliott Founder’s Fund; Hartfield Foundation; Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation; New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council; New York State Council on the Arts and the New York State Legislature; James Rosenquist Foundation; van Beuren Charitable Foundation; and William Talbott Hillman Foundation.

Accessibility information: Please note that the entrance to ISCP has seven steps and a ramp, which is ADA compliant. There are seven artist studios and one exhibition space which can be accessed on the first floor of ISCP. There is an accessible bathroom on the first floor at the end of the hallway, up one step, where the artist studios are located. To access the second floor there is a staircase with a grab bar installed on the right side with 22 steps. The second floor has 22 artist and curator studios, one exhibition space, and a lounge where remarks by our guest speaker will take place. To access the third floor there is a staircase with a grab bar installed on the right side with 24 steps. The third floor has five artist and curator studios. ISCP  can access a freight elevator to bring visitors between the first and second floors on request.

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Crystal Yayra Anthony


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