Sonya Clark

Sonya Clark



NorthEast Region of USA
Sonya Clark
A daughter of immigrants from the Caribbean, Sonya Clark investigates questions of value, racial politics, and American identity through inventive manipulation of found materials— often materials associated with African American hair and hair styling. In her Albers Interaction series, the artist wraps colored thread around stacks of hair combs, tightly binding them together. The works in the series form abstract color planes that make direct reference to Modernist painter Josef Albers and his Homage to the Square series. Albers also authored the seminal volume The Interaction of Color, which argued that color is ruled by a rigorous internal logic. The work was published in 1963—the same year as Martin Luther King’s I Have a Dream speech. By remaking Albers’s abstract forms with charged material that references black hair, Clark argues that color is never a hermetic system unto itself, but always carries the potential for meaning and value in a larger social context.

When I was at the Art Institute of Chicago, I studied Josef Albers’s color theory. It’s this amazing way of thinking about color physiologically. Fast forward to now. I started thinking about that perceptual color that he taught, but more in a way of thinking about race designation and categorization.

— Sonya Clark