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Tau Lewis Salvages Found Textiles to Conjure the Enigmatic Figures of Her Imagined Future — Colossal


#Tau Lewis

November 9, 2023

Grace Ebert

“Homonoia” (2022). All images © Tau Lewis, courtesy of the artist and 52 Walker, New York, shared with permission

A companion to Tau Lewis’s 2022 exhibition Vox Populi, Vox Dei, a monograph by the same name contextualizes and celebrates the artist’s enigmatic, post-apocalyptic vision. Lewis (previously) is known for repurposing textiles into bold works evocative of Yoruban masks and Greek and Roman theatrical traditions. The title translates to “the voice of the people is the voice of god,” a phrase the artist uses to invoke a sense of community and spirituality, two tenets of her imagined world.

Along with the totemic, wall-based works included in the Vox Populi, Vox Dei exhibition at 52 Walker, the book also features the freestanding forms shown here. Similarly constructed with patchworks and layers of textiles, the works reference the “material DNA” Lewis is drawn to, as she connects the previous uses of the fabrics themselves to the figures that inhabit her universe. Paired with writings by Ebony L. Haynes, Tiana Reid, and Yves B. Golden, the volume contains images, preliminary sketches, and groups of color swatches that offer insight into the origins and ancestries of Lewis’ salvaged future.

Grab your copy of Clarion Vol. 5: Tau Lewis: Vox Populi, Vox Dei from 52 Walker.


a standing figurative sculpture that appears covered in layers of textiles and floral tendrils

“Saint Mozelle” (2022)

an open books spread showing an installation view of six sculptural masks in a gallery

a detail of a textile sculpture with innumerable layers

Detail of “Saint Mozelle” (2022)

a detail shot of a figurative sculpture with a headpiece of five arms with eye-like forms on them

Detail of “Homonoia” (2022)

an open book spread with preliminary sketches of sculptures

an arch with a figure at the center, all covered in layers of white and beige textiles

“Ivory Gate” (2022)

a calm figurative sculpture underneath an arch, all covered in layers of textiles

Detail of “Ivory Gate” (2022)

#Tau Lewis


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