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Take Your Time
by Enrico Riley

January 18 – March 1, 2024
Institute for the Humanities Gallery, 202 S. Thayer
Gallery hours: M-F 9am-5pm

Take Your Time: A Fireside Chat with artist Enrico Riley
with musical performance by Efé Bes
Wednesday, January 17, 2024
11am - 2pm
U-M Detroit Center, 3663 Woodward Ave, Detroit

Penny Stamps Distinguished Speaker Series: "The Nameable and the Unseen" with Enrico Riley in conversation with Mario Moore
Thursday, January 18, 2024
Michigan Theater, 603 E. Liberty

Opening Reception with Enrico Riley
Thursday, January 18, 2024
Institute for the Humanities Gallery, 202 S. Thayer

Enrico Riley is devoted to the process of painting and an ongoing formal inquiry into the materiality of paint … all that it can tell us, and that which can’t possibly be named. He nudges us as viewers to pay attention, to actively engage with the work, and to discover new ways of seeing that can change our perceptions. 

His own practice resists definition. He moves freely, across boundaries between one genre and another, from minimalism to abstraction, to figurative representation. He is influenced by rhythmic musical traditions like those of West Indian and African drumming, and the transformative jazz of the 1960s. 

Through painting, Riley explores the potential and the limitation of painted images and narratives as they pertain to the representation of Black life.

Take Your Time presents a series of new abstract paintings focused on that which can’t be fully articulated by the words on a gallery wall. The sublime nature of these abstractions resides in the open spaces, beyond edges.

Many of the works in Take Your Time allude to other paintings or fragments of paintings that have come before. It is impossible to trace where one begins and another ends, in repetition like a series of portals.

Sitting in the gallery amidst the works, in time, one begins to notice a luminous yellow. The color and light meanders from one painting to another, revelatory. The suggestion of a flower or a bowl, a gestural notation offers evidence of a story in its absence.

The abstract paintings in Take Your Time are quiet acts of resistance. They defy nameable narratives with complete transparency and legibility. Rather, they propose an open space for dialogue and speculation.

–Amanda Krugliak, IH Arts Curator

Enrico Riley is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Rome Prize in Visual Arts, the American Academy of Arts and Letters Purchase Prize in Painting, and holds the George Frederick Jewitt Professorship in Art at Dartmouth College. Riley has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the American Academy in Rome, the University of New Hampshire and Jenkins Johnson Projects. He has participated in recent group exhibitions at “State of the Art 2020” at Crystal Bridges Museum of Art and “Black Bodies on the Cross” at The Hood Museum. His work is in institutions including the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Hood Museum, and Nasher Sculpture Center. Enrico Riley has an MFA in painting from Yale University and a BA in Visual Studies from Dartmouth College. Riley lives and works in Vermont and New Hampshire. 

This project is made possible by a grant from the Mellon Foundation as part of the Institute for the Humanities' multi-year High Stakes Art initiative.

Read about this exhibition in the Michigan Daily.