Derrick Alexis Coard
Organized with HAINovember 8–December 20, 2014 320 West 13th Street
White Columns is proud to present a solo exhibition by the New York-based artist Derrick Alexis Coard (b. 1981, Brooklyn). Coard is affiliated with New York’s Healing Arts Initiative (H.A.I.), a center that works with adult artists with mental illness and developmental disabilities. Coard has worked at H.A.I. for the past six years.
Coard’s exhibition is a survey of his drawing practice, featuring works produced over the past 14 years. The earliest work in the exhibition was produced in 2000, when Coard was still in his teens, the most recent works date from 2014 and are from his ongoing series of imagined ‘portraits’ of bearded black men.
Writing about his life and work Coard states: “At the age of four I started to draw beyond a child’s natural ability. I was very gifted for my age. I had a fascination with New York City’s bridges and I drew them quite well. My art has evolved over the years as I have gotten older, and during my adolescence I started drawing images of bearded black men. I later found out that the bearded look is the image God favored when speaking through Moses for men not to use razors. … During high school I attended Saturday art classes at F.I.T., summer school at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, and night classes at the Jamaica Art Center … and more recently I received hands-on experience working at the Saturday studio sessions at H.A.I. My art is my voice for the human race. I use bearded black men as a symbolic expression for possible change in the African American community. … My work is a form of testimonial where black men can be seen in a more positive and righteous light.”
This is White Columns sixth collaboration with H.A.I. and its affiliated artists, previous projects include solo presentations at White Columns of Ray Hamilton and Rocco Fama’s work, and a booth dedicated to the work H.A.I. artists at the 2014 Frieze New York art fair. We would like to thank Quimetta Perle and the staff at H.A.I. for their enthusiasm and support. To find out more about H.A.I., its programs and artists visit: www.hainyc.org
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