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Kandis Williams

Contributions by Okwui Okpokwasili
Published by David Zwirner Books
Distributed by Simon & Schuster
LIST PRICE $47.00
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The inaugural volume in a new series of books, Kandis Williams documents the Los Angeles–based artist’s exhibition A Line. Interrogating issues of race, nationalism, authority, and eroticism, her topical work is made across collage, sculpture, and video.

Williams draws on her background in dramaturgy to envision a space that accommodates the biopolitical economies that inform how movement might be read. Looking at the interconnections between popular culture and myth, she relates in her work anatomy, regions of Black diaspora, and communication and obfuscation. Williams’s body of work shapes an alternative language that examines how Black moving bodies are regarded. Williams continues to make visible the inexpressible violence Black bodies have been subjected to in dance and beyond.

Featuring contributions by the curator of 52 Walker—a David Zwirner gallery space—Ebony L. Haynes and the artist and writer Hannah Black, and a stirring conversation between Williams and the choreographer Okwui Okpokwasili, the book serves as an extension of the exhibition. Included are high-quality illustrations of the artworks alongside rich archival materials.

About the Clarion Series
The Clarion series of illustrated publications is positioned as an extension of each exhibition at the groundbreaking gallery space 52 Walker, curated by Ebony L. Haynes. The program focuses on showcasing conceptual and research-based artists from a range of backgrounds and at various stages in their careers. The series title is derived from the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers’ Workshop, the oldest of its kind, at the University of California, San Diego. Octavia Butler attended this workshop in the 1970s. Both she and her work have been extremely influential in many cadres of Black culture and subculture. With a sleek design influenced by encyclopedias, each publication will feature color reproductions of the works on view, alongside an introduction by Haynes, commissioned essays, artist texts, archival materials, and more.

Kandis Williams (b. 1985) was born in Baltimore and received her BFA from Cooper Union in New York in 2009. She is the founder of the publishing and educational platform Cassandra Press. In addition to her visual arts practice, for which she has been exhibited internationally, Williams’s performances have been mounted in institutions across the world. She is the recipient of the 2021 Grants to Artists award, presented by the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, New York, and the 2020 Mohn Award for artistic excellence, presented by the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles. Williams is represented by Night Gallery and currently lives and works in Los Angeles.

Ebony L. Haynes is a writer and curator from Toronto. She is based in New York, where she is a director at David Zwirner. Haynes is a visiting curator and critic at the Yale School of Art in the painting and printmaking class of 2021. She also runs an online “school” that offers free professional practice classes to Black students worldwide. 

Hannah Black is an artist and writer. She was born in Manchester, England, and now lives in New York.