Maya Stovall

LUX

September 22–December 12, 2020 East Gallery
Several illuminated neon signs displaying numbered years, installed in a row along the walls of a gallery. An electrical transformer rests on the floor by each wall.

Maya Stovall, installation view, 2020

Several illuminated neon signs installed along the walls of a gallery. To the left stands a table with postcards displayed on stands.

Maya Stovall, installation view, 2020

An illuminated neon sign depicting the number 1526 mounted on a white wall. The adjacent brick wall has an archway, through which another four neon signs can be seen.

Maya Stovall, installation view, 2020

1526 (1526 NASDAQ: FAANG), no. 1, 2019, mounted on a white wall. An illuminated neon sign depicting the number 1526.

Maya Stovall, installation view, 2020

Four illuminated neon signs installed on a wall with an archway. Through the archway another neon sign is visible.

Maya Stovall, installation view, 2020

1661 (1526 NASDAQ: FAANG), no. 3, 2019, mounted on a white wall. An illuminated neon sign depicting the number 1661.

Maya Stovall, installation view, 2020

Stacks of postcards displayed in stands and arranged in a rectangle on top of a white table. The cards’ outer faces each display a year rendered in large cream lettering.

Maya Stovall, installation view, 2020

Three illuminated neon signs mounted on a white wall depicting, from left to right, the numbers 1787, 1895 and 1931. An electrical transformer rests on the floor below them.

Maya Stovall, installation view, 2020

A close-up of stacks of postcards displayed in stands and arranged in a rectangle on top of a white table. The cards’ outer faces each display a year rendered in large cream numbers.

Maya Stovall, installation view, 2020

A close-up of the text on the back of a postcard that accompanies 1895 (1526 NASDAQ: FAANG), no. 11, 2019.

Maya Stovall, installation view, 2020

A close-up of the text on the back of a postcard that accompanies 1526 (1526 NASDAQ: FAANG), no. 1, 2019.

Maya Stovall, installation view, 2020

A close-up of an illuminated neon sign depicting the number 1526.

Maya Stovall
1526 (1526 NASDAQ: FAANG), no. 1
, 2019
Archives, buttercream neon, and FAANG fonts
4.26 × 11.5 in.

A close-up of an illuminated neon sign depicting the number 2019.

Maya Stovall
2019 (1526 NASDAQ: FAANG), no. 45, 2019
Archives, buttercream neon, and FAANG fonts
4.25 × 11.75 in.

Press Release

White Columns is pleased to present LUX, Maya Stovall’s first solo exhibition in New York City. LUX comprises 16 wall-mounted neon sculptures from the artists’ ongoing series 1526 (NASDAQ: FAANG).

Initiated in 2018, the 1526 (NASDAQ: FAANG) series emerged from Stovall’s extensive research into historical archives. From tens of thousands of pages of research Stovall developed a series of dates, from 1526 to 2019, that reflect, in the artist’s words, “critical moments in U.S. history.” Each sculpture, a year expressed as numerals inscribed in neon, is accompanied by a postcard – that visitors are free to take – that expands upon the significance of each particular date or historical ‘moment’.

The exhibition begins with 1526 in South Carolina, the home of the artist’s ancestors, and the year of an early, successful rebellion by enslaved people:

From the start, African American survivors work to end human trafficking and genocide, otherwise known as United States Slavery. An example of this work is organized resistance and rebellion. In 1526 South Carolina, among the first known U.S. Slavery locations, a successful rebellion is strategized and survivors establish local homesteads (Aptheker 1939, pp.16-17).

The presentation continues to the present, 2019, which is dedicated to four women, including Tamara Jones, the sister of the artist’s friend, who were murdered in the McDougall-Hunt neighborhood of Detroit.

With this series, Stovall asks: “What data is typically presented in bright lights? What data is typically obscured? Beginning with 1526 South Carolina, where ancestors of my maternal great-grandmother lived before coming to Detroit, the body of work highlights a minute number of significant moments from that year to the present day. The moments are significant for a variety of reasons, including cultural, political, economic, and aesthetic themes. Drawing from tens of thousands of pages of archives, an obsession with data—stories and numbers; numbers and stories—is machined into a series of dates and cards. Drawing from NASDAQ: FAANG aesthetics, links between information, knowledge, power, and the notion of truth, are contemplated, meditated, and brought into a clear and present focus. As I researched the archive and compiled the dates, I’d often cry. The tears were/are absolutely not tears of sadness nor of euphoria. They were/are tears of clarity—tears of legibility—tears of information. Tears of naming, perhaps. But the viewer is able to decide that which is named.”

Maya Stovall (b.1982 Detroit, MI) lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. Stovall holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Wayne State University in Detroit, MI, a M.B.A. from The University of Chicago, and a B.B.A. from Howard University in Washington D.C. Recent solo exhibitions include Machine at Reyes | Finn, Detroit, MI (2019) and Liquor Store Theatre Performance Films at the Cranbrook Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills, MI (2018.) Stovall’s work was included in the 2017 Whitney Biennial, and has been featured in group exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, Museum of Contemporary Art, Toronto, Atlanta Contemporary, and the Studio Museum in Harlem.

For further information, contact: info@whitecolumns.org

Event

A virtual book launch and panel discussion in celebration of the release of Dr. Maya Stovall’s new book, Liquor Store Theatre.

Maya Stovall in conversation with moderator Michael Stone-Richards, Professor of Critical Practice and Visual Studies at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit; and panelists Christopher Y. Lew, Nancy and Fred Poses Curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art; Rehema C. Barber, Chief Curator at Kalamazoo Institute of Arts; and Matthew Higgs, an artist, Director and Chief Curator of White Columns.

December 3, 2020

NADA Miami 2020

Several illuminated neon signs displaying numbered years, installed in a row along the walls of a gallery. An electrical transformer rests on the floor by each wall.
Several illuminated neon signs installed along the walls of a gallery. To the left stands a table with postcards displayed on stands.
An illuminated neon sign depicting the number 1526 mounted on a white wall. The adjacent brick wall has an archway, through which another four neon signs can be seen.
1526 (1526 NASDAQ: FAANG), no. 1, 2019, mounted on a white wall. An illuminated neon sign depicting the number 1526.
Four illuminated neon signs installed on a wall with an archway. Through the archway another neon sign is visible.
1661 (1526 NASDAQ: FAANG), no. 3, 2019, mounted on a white wall. An illuminated neon sign depicting the number 1661.
Stacks of postcards displayed in stands and arranged in a rectangle on top of a white table. The cards’ outer faces each display a year rendered in large cream lettering.
Three illuminated neon signs mounted on a white wall depicting, from left to right, the numbers 1787, 1895 and 1931. An electrical transformer rests on the floor below them.
A close-up of stacks of postcards displayed in stands and arranged in a rectangle on top of a white table. The cards’ outer faces each display a year rendered in large cream numbers.
A close-up of the text on the back of a postcard that accompanies 1895 (1526 NASDAQ: FAANG), no. 11, 2019.
A close-up of the text on the back of a postcard that accompanies 1526 (1526 NASDAQ: FAANG), no. 1, 2019.
A close-up of an illuminated neon sign depicting the number 1526.
A close-up of an illuminated neon sign depicting the number 2019.

Installation view: Maya Stovall LUX (A large room with three white columns in the center. Several illuminated neon signs with four numbers each are installed in rows along the walls: six on a back wall, three on the wall to the right, and five on the wall to the left. All electrical wires are visible and there is a large electrical transformer resting on the floor in the middle of each wall.)

Installation view: Maya Stovall LUX (A large room with three white columns in the center and two archways dividing up the back wall. Several illuminated neon signs with four numbers each are installed in rows along the walls: one on a wall behind the right archway, four on the wall with archways, and four on the wall to the right. All electrical wires are visible and there is a large electrical transformer resting on the floor in the middle of each wall. Postcards on stands are installed on the left side of the room.)

Installation view: Maya Stovall LUX (A small space across the entrance to gallery with an archway on the right brick wall. Several illuminated neon signs with four numbers each are installed in rows along the walls: one on the left wall and three on a far wall in the adjacent room visible through arch. All electrical wires are visible and there is a large electrical transformer resting on the floor of the far wall.)

Installation view: Maya Stovall LUX (An illuminated neon sign on a wall depicting the number 1526. All electrical wires are visible.)

Installation view: Maya Stovall LUX (A large wall divided by an archway in the middle. Several illuminated neon signs with four numbers each are installed in rows along the walls: one on the wall to the left archway, three on the wall to the right of the archway, and one on a far visible through archway. All electrical wires are visible and there is a large electrical transformer resting on the floor in the middle of the wall to the right of archway.)

Installation view: Maya Stovall LUX (An illuminated neon sign on a wall depicting the number 1661. All electrical wires are visible.)

Installation view: Maya Stovall LUX (A close-up of stacks of postcards displayed on stands in a rectangle on a white table. The numbers on postcards face outwards.)

Installation view: Maya Stovall LUX (Three illuminated neon signs on a wall depicting, from left to right, the numbers: 1787, 1895, 1931. All electrical wires are visible and there is a large electrical transformer resting on the floor in the middle of the signs.)

Installation view: Maya Stovall LUX (A close-up of stacks of postcards displayed on stands in a rectangle on top of the table. The numbers on postcards face outwards and the text faces inwards.)

Installation view: Maya Stovall LUX (A close-up of the text on the back of the postcard that accompanies 1895 (1526 NASDAQ: FAANG), no.11, 2019.)

Installation view: Maya Stovall LUX (A close-up of the text on the back of the postcard that accompanies 1526 (1526 NASDAQ: FAANG), no. 1, 2019.)

Maya Stovall
1526 (1526 NASDAQ: FAANG), no. 1, 2019
Archives, buttercream neon, and FAANG fonts
4.26 × 11.5 in. (A close-up of an illuminated neon sign depicting the number 1526. All electrical wires are visible.)

Maya Stovall
2019 (1526 NASDAQ: FAANG), no. 45, 2019
Archives, buttercream neon, and FAANG fonts
4.26 × 11.5 in. (A close-up of an illuminated neon sign depicting the number 1526. All electrical wires are visible.)