Not on View


Photo Credit: Rich Sanders, Des Moines


Artist: Nayland Blake (American, born 1960)
Date: 1993
Medium: Nylon and steel
Overall: 78 1/2 x 25 x 14 in. (199.4 x 63.5 x 35.6 cm.)
Credit Line: Des Moines Art Center Permanent Collections; Purchased with funds from the Edmundson Art Foundation, Inc., 1993.11
Accession number: 1993.11
Classification: sculpture
Copyright:© Nayland Blake, Courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery
Label TextBlake’s work explores difficult concepts such as identity, race, and sexuality, and often uses playful and subversive imagery that can be linked to childhood. He works in a variety of media, but is best known for non-traditional sculptures including puppets and life-size suits such as Untitled, which, although not intended to be worn, has a strong affinity with costume and performance. The hood has what appears to be rabbit ears, which relate the work to images of bunnies the artist has used repeatedly throughout his work. Untitled physically resembles the male body, but is made of material associated with women’s hosiery. The dark nylon suggests a skin-like covering that would lend a surface coloring unrelated to the wearer’s actual identity. On several levels, Blake’s costume resists definition and enhances ambiguity.
Exhibition History"From Body to Being: Reflections on the Human Image," Des Moines Art Center, Feb. 1 - May 4, 1997

"Outside the Frame: Performance and the Object," Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art, Cleveland, OH, Feb. 11 - May 1, 1994

"Stoney End," Matthew Marks Gallery, N. Y., Mar. 11 - Apr. 24, 1993
Published References"Dialogue: Arts in the Midwest," Columbus, OH, Mar./Apr. 1994, b/w cover ill., b/w ill. p.1

Invitation for "Stoney End," Matthew Marks Gallery, N. Y., 1993, b/w ill.

AN UNCOMMON VISION: THE DES MOINES ART CENTER, Des Moines Art Center, 1998, ref. p.60, b/w ill. pp.60 & 61
entirely unexpected