White Columns

Gallery Embah

“Once more I light a candle to celebrate values, social and cultural, that are slipping out of our grasp. These values, like light, are consistent with actions that require repetition to be constant.” – Embah, 1992.

White Columns is pleased to present the first solo exhibition outside of his native Trinidad by the poet and artist Embah (Emheyo Bahabba.) Consisting of a group of recent paintings and sculptural constructions the exhibition will be Embah’s most comprehensive to date. Now in his late 60s Embah started making art in 1980. Employing a rich, highly complex visual vocabulary that often involves layered and overlapping imagery Embah’s work often functions as a counterpoint to his own poetic writings. (Embah has stated that this approach enables him “to present controversial statements – especially those related to culture – without adding to the already ungainly bulk of rhetoric.”) Embah’s work simultaneously explores the quotidian (social) and spiritual realms: his works invoke an open set of philosophical and psychological associations, exploring the social and cultural traditions, musical legacies, folklore, and physical topographies of Trinidad and Tobago, as well as more personal and (auto)biographical narratives.

Embah (b. 1937) works in Port of Spain, Trinidad. He has had numerous solo exhibitions in Trinidad, most recently at the CCA 7 Gallery, Port of Spain, in 2004. Earlier solo exhibitions include: Aquarela Galleries, Port of Spain, Trinidad (1989, 90, 91, 92); The National Museum and Art Gallery, Port of Spain (1982/84); and The American Center, Trinidad (1980.) Group shows include ‘Caribbean Art Now’, Commonwealth Institute, London (1986); ‘Seven Trinidadian Artists’, IFA Gallery, Bonn, Germany (1990); ‘Contemporary Paintings: Trinidad and Tobago’, October Gallery, London (1992); and ‘Sing Me A Rainbow: An Artist Medley From Trinidad and Tobago’ (1998, Meridian International Center, Washington D.C., and subsequent U.S. tour.)

Embah’s exhibition has been generously supported by Martin and Rebecca Eisenberg.

White Columns would like to thank Peter Doig and Chris Ofili for their support with this project.

Related Press

Embah - The New Yorker - July 9-16, 2007