The eight new paintings in “Gut Feelings,” Tschabalala Self’s second solo exhibition at Thierry Goldberg Gallery, portray black women in compositions of acrylic paint, fabric, paper, and fragments of older canvases. Several of the collaged works are sexually explicit. The approximately 6½-by-7-foot Swim, for instance, shows a green-footed man with a gloriously taut butt performing cunnilingus on a woman. Her head is thrown back, and snaking yellow braids fly out to suggest her ecstasy. In Bellyphat, a smiling nude built from an array of brightly patterned textiles tenderly clutches her protruding stomach as she looks back at a man, rendered all in brown, like a shadow, who presses against her from behind. The women in these works are often in vulnerable states, but they never convey shame. They are as uninhibited as the exuberant style of the paintings themselves.
Pictured: Tschabalala Self: Swim, 2016, fabric, flashe, and acrylic paint on canvas, 84 by 80 inches. Courtesy Thierry Goldberg Gallery, New York.