Ross-Sutton Gallery: Khari Turner 'Solid to Gas'

2 - 17 June

Ross-Sutton Gallery, presents Solid to Gas, a solo show by Khari Turner. Turner's paintings and drawings combine abstraction with realistic renderings of Black noses and lips to investigate the spiritual and physical record to his ancestor’s relationship with water. The average body is made up of 60% water, the same water in these ethereal beings that inhabit the work. All the water on this earth is the same water that has always been on this earth. The knowledge water holds is in all of us, and the realisation that we share this water is his focus. Turner's work is constantly evolving, absorbing water and history as a material, painting to bring the stories of elegance and chaos that comes with this existence.

Khari Turner was born in April 1991 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His paints translate truth into abstract portraits of reverence. His work, saturated with a desire to connect, Turner’s chosen medium incorporates ocean, lake, and river water from all over the world as a solvent. Identity and memory join us to Black history intrinsic and a part of American history. To cleanse, heal, and tether, his brushstrokes, and drippings bring us closer to those ancestors who reach back from the not-so-distant past. While viewers may think of Jackson Pollock in these instances, consider that the word ‘drippings’ (lardo) is used in southern American vernacular to describe unusable animal renderings. Just as specific characteristics associated with Black people - large lips, broad noses, du-rags, and long, brightly colored nails - have been deemed unprofessional or unattractive by some aspects of society. Turner’s visual lexicon has used the device of obscured countenance to have these portraits speak with dexterous confidence, reflecting inherent value to a viewer of any background in all its parts. Through including ocean and lake water, Turner reminds us that we are one through time, space, and, more importantly, cellular memory. Turner focuses on the celebration of life.

Khari Turner, Cycle of Life, 2023  60 x 72in, 152.4 x 182.9cm Mixed media Acrylic, oil, ink, charcoal, water from oceans, lakes and rivers with Black historical references. Courtesy of the artist & Ross-Sutton Gallery
Khari Turner, Cycle of Life, 2023  60 x 72in, 152.4 x 182.9cm, mixed media, acrylic, oil, ink, charcoal, water from oceans, lakes and rivers with black historical references. Courtesy of the artist and Ross-Sutton Gallery.