(Houston, TX b. USA)
African textiles, Gee’s Bend Quilts, and the everyday aesthetic within the historic African American neighborhoods of Houston, Texas inspire "Making Space”. This work acts as a reminder to the extrinsic value of these neighborhoods through the lens of its spatial geography and relationship to gentrification, along with objects and form in terms of cultural iconography, and the everyday aesthetic. Drum notations and Houston’s hip-hop car culture formulate the abstract patterns. These patterns act as a response to the marginalization of Black American identity, the black spatial imaginary, and contemporary art. During the times of American slavery, it was said, that southern quilts communicated warnings to the slaves. Although this may or may not be a myth, this contemporary makeshift quilt does communicate moments of neighborhood erasure and the silencing of its cultural contributions. It also simultaneously celebrates the neighborhood’s cultural socio-consciousness and overall complexity.
~ Nathaniel Donnett
Nathaniel Donnett lives and works in Houston, Texas and received his BA in Fine Arts at Texas Southern University and his MFA in Fine Art from Yale University (expected 2021). Donnett is the founder of the website blog “Not That But This.” Donnett is a recipient of a 2017/2011 Houston Arts Alliance Individual Artist Grant, 2015 Houston Downtown Vehicular Wayfinding Signs Project public art commission. Donnett has also received a 2014 Harpo Foundation Grant, 2015/2011 Idea Fund/Andy Warhol Foundation Grant, and a 2010 Artadia Award. Selected exhibitions were at The Ulrich Museum, Wichita, KS, The McColl Center, Charlotte, NC, The American Museum, Washington, DC, The Kemper Contemporary Arts Museum, Kansas City, MO, The Theresa Hotel, Harlem, NY, Harvey B Gantt Art Center for African American Arts and Culture, Charlotte, NC, The Community Artist’s Collective, The Mattatuck Museum, Waterbury CT, The Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Houston, TX, Project Row Houses, Houston, TX, The University Museum, Houston, TX, and The New Museum, New York, NY . He has been represented by Morton Fine Art since 2012.