ACRE Projects and Blanc Gallery are excited to present Outmoded Shapes, a three-person exhibition of work by Ricki Dwyer, John Alleyne, and Zachary Nicol, curated by Rohan Ayinde, that examines the conditions and structures in which bodies are made while offering modes for rupturing and rethinking them.

Loosely woven out of a series of Zoom calls over the past 7 months, the exhibition is contextualized by 4 key texts. They are the anchors in the show’s dialogue, orienting and giving shape to the work without defining the way it should be engaged with. A passage about the feminine power of the erotic from Audre Lorde opens out onto Gordon Hall’s discussion on materializing bodies through ritual. bell hooks remind us that masculinity is learned and practiced just as Mlondolozi Zondi analyzes the aesthetics of Afro-pessimism in Black performance. This symphony of ideas sounds like the space between Zach, Ricki, and John. They have listened to one another and, in so doing, begun to make sense of the shapes they are each grappling with – gender, class, race, masculinity, performance, and identity. They make visible to one another the forms that they feel bound by and against which they are pushing.

The polyvalent readings of the body charge the exhibition with a fluidity that refuses any fixed understanding of what a body is. Instead, all three artists ask how bodies are made. They ask what constitutes the materiality of a body, and what role we play in bringing that materiality into existence. They ask how a body can refuse legibility and capture while being used as a medium for imagining space otherwise. They look at how we weave understandings of self out of images made by others and how they can be broken down to make new, loose, freer assemblages.

We invite you to join us for the opening reception on Saturday, June 3rd, from 5-9 pm, with a special performance by Zachary Nicol and Jasmine Lupe Mendoza on opening night at 7.30 pm.

Ricki Dwyer

Ricki Dwyer (USA) is an artist and educator working between San Francisco and Brooklyn. His practice considers the intersections of material, industry, and the somatic. This research addresses weaving and craft in both theory and practice. He honors drapery as the negotiation that things will never fall the same way twice. In 2022 he had solo exhibitions with Anglim/Trimble in SF, Rupert in Lithuania and participated in the Biennale de Lyon. His most recent text, Decennial, on weaving as a metaphor for mutual aid was published with the Wattis in June. He has been artist in residence with Recology, Jupiter Woods Gallery in London, The Textile Arts Center in New York, ARTHAUS Havana, and most recently completed a residency in the foundry of Kohler Co through. Dwyer is currently on the curatorial council of Southern Exposure. He received his undergraduate degree in Fibers from the Savannah College of Art and Design and an MFA from UC Berkeley.

John Alleyne

John Alleyne is an artist from Barbados, currently based in New Orleans, LA. His work is rooted in an exploration of "freedom," connecting his lived experience with an intuitive process of painting and silkscreen mark-making. Alleyne looks for perfection in the imperfect. The untraditional use of unhinged silkscreens and squeegees are utilized as mark-making tools to create painterly gestures of figurative-abstraction. Within these gestures, Alleyne challenges notions of belonging, healing, beauty, manhood, and masculinity.

Alleyne graduated from SUNY Potsdam with a BFA in studio art and a concentration in digital design. He also has an MFA in studio art from Louisiana State University, with a concentration in painting and drawing. He has been Artist-in-Residence at Ox-Bow, ACRE and Anderson Ranch Arts Center. He has exhibited work throughout various galleries and museums in the South, including the Masur Museum, the LSU Museum, and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art. He has also exhibited work in Savannah, New York, Los Angeles, Ireland, and Barbados. His work is featured in Issue #23 of The Hand Magazine, in addition to volumes of Studio Visit Magazine, and New American Paintings. Alleyne is an Assistant Professor of Art at Southern University and A & M College, and Program Leader of the Visual Arts program.

Zachary Nicol

Zachary Nicol is an artist and performer based in Chicago. Their interdisciplinary work uses research in dance, movement, site, and image to unfold problems of the performing body. Their work has been presented and performed in Chicago at Links Hall, Pivot Arts Festival, Trap Door Theatre, Co-Prosperity, Lumpen Radio, filmfront, OuterSpace, Compound Yellow, the National Museum of Romanian Literature in Bucharest, and S1 Gallery in Portland. Nicol is a 2023 Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artist, has been artist in residence with Ragdale Foundation, Annas Projects, ACRE, and Links Hall, and co-founded the collective venue F4F.

Nicol works frequently as a collaborative and performing artist and has contributed to recent projects by Anna Martine Whitehead, Joe Namy, Mlondi Zondi, Alexandra Pirici, and Catherine Sullivan, among many others.

Rohan Ayinde

Rohan Ayinde is an interdisciplinary curator, artist and poet based between London and Chicago. His work traverses audio, visual and literary forms and embraces installation and performance. Most recently, his practice has engaged with the phenomenon of the black hole and attempts to excavate an architecture of ideology through the analytical framework of afro-pessimism. Investigating how the politics of place intersects with the conceptual, his poems, drawings, videos and performance work are translations and sketches of landscapes built from a freedom best imagined by writers like Octavia Butler, Ursula Le Guin, and Edouard Glissant.

Ayinde is one half of the wayward/motile collaborative duo, with friend/producer/dancer Yewande YoYo Odunubi. He received his MA in Visual and Critical Studies from SAIC (2019). In 2021 he was awarded the fifth Stuart Hall Library Artist’s Residency. He is the gallery director at Blanc (Chicago), is a curatorial fellow with ACRE, and has curated shows at Blanc, ACRE Projects, and NOW Gallery.


Opening Reception:

4445 South King Drive
Chicago , IL 60653

Wheelchair Accessible

A special performance by Zachary Nicol and Jasmine Lupe Mendoza on opening night at 7.30 pm.