Taking root in the textures of everyday life, Sojourner Truth Parsons’ paintings are personal yet fictional moments, driven by a desire to translate the psychological and the affective into visual form. Bodies, flora and fauna, the city—the touchstones of daily existence—are anchoring forms in her practice; they are images that stand in for the emotional acuities and atmospheric intensities that occupy her time in the studio. Parsons’ paintings aim to manifest a perception concerned with the saturated and sacred, one that is filtered through illusion and shaped by multiplicity and doubt.
There is an enigmatic energy that anchors the artist’s gaze, one that is generative, privileging truth over fact and feeling over form. Parsons has written; “ My work often renders scenes that feel borrowed but are, in fact, inherited, in shadowy, sharp-edged forms that—much like my own experience—elude clear apprehension.”
There is a rigorous and emergent logic to Parsons’ paintings, one developed through the abstraction of collaged forms, scrupulous use of color, and focused attention to textures, edges, and a certain intuitive flatness. These elements recur throughout her work, reflecting a textural experience of the world that feels at once potent and fragmentary, lucid and unfixed.
Parsons’ work is neither autobiographical nor narrative in form, but strives instead for a sense of intimacy, where the boundaries between interior and exterior worlds are collapsed and a felt experience can be recognized. She works to strike a balance between openness and obscurity, where what is not revealed is as potent as what is, in a mix of illusion, desire, and pain: “It is my hope that, through the process of rendering these scenes, critical truths can be glimpsed and a provocative sense of wholeness can emerge.”
Sojourner Truth Parsons (Vancouver, BC, Canada, 1984) lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Halifax, NS, Canada.
Solo exhibitions include: “Milk river,” Various Small Fires, Seoul, South Korea; “Sex and love with a psychologist,” Foxy Production, New York, NY (both 2020); “Holding Your Dog At Night,” Oakville Galleries, Oakville, ON, Canada; “Dolphin, take me with you,” Downs & Ross, New York, NY (both 2017); “Crying in California,” Night Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; and “Heartbeats Accelerating,” Tomorrow, New York, NY (both 2016). Recent group exhibitions include: “The New Bend,” curated by Legacy Russell, Hauser & Wirth, New York, NY (2022); “l’Invitation au voyage,” Esther Schipper, Berlin, Germany (2021); “This is America,” Kunstraum Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany; “Springweather and people,” Bortolami, New York, NY (both 2021); ”This Sacred Vessel (PT. 1),” Arsenal Contemporary, New York, NY; and “Staying alive,” Lyles and King, New York, NY (both 2020).
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|Sojourner Truth Parsons||2020||Gallery|
|I Am Silver||2016||Gallery|
- Heinrich, Will. "Sojourner Truth Parsons at Foxy Production," The New York Times 7 Aug. 2020. C4.
- Cranston, Molly. "Sojourner Truth Parsons’ Sex and love with a psychologist.” Editorial Magazine. 17 July 2020. Web.
- Schreiber, Kim-Anh. “Sex and love with a psychologist.” Foxy Production 9 July 2020. Web.
- Hyland, Matthew. Introductory text for "Sojourner Truth Parsons: Holding Your Dog At Night", 2017, at Oakville galleries, Oakville, ON, Canada
- Berardini, Andrew. “Stardust Tear: Sojourner Truth Parsons Crying in California,” Momus 10 Oct. 2016. Web.
- Duncan, Fiona. “Sojourner Truth Parsons,” Canadian Art Sept. 2016. Web.
- Slenske, Michael. “L.A. Women: Sojourner Truth Parsons,” Cultured Magazine Sept. 2016. Web.
- Prickett, Sarah Nicole. “Sojourner Truth Parsons at Tomorrow,” Artforum 8 Apr. 2016. Web.
- Berardini, Andrew. Introductory text for "Sojourner Truth Parsons' "I Got Allergies" Art Agenda 24 July 2015. Web.