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Institute of Contemporary Art Miami

ICA Speaks: Tau Lewis

ICA Miami welcomes Tau Lewis to ICA Speaks for an online talk. Lewis will discuss how found materials and their embedded histories shape her work as she transforms them into large-scale sculptures that pay homage to diasporic narratives.

Working in an array of techniques—including hand-sewing, appliqué, carving, and assemblage—Lewis honors the materials and creative modalities intrinsic to communities of the African diaspora. Using found, inherited, and secondhand cloth and objects, Lewis contemplates the affective histories of her materials. Disparate stories and voices are salvaged from the fibers during these processes of transformation; en masse, they imbue Lewis’s forms with potency and life. The artist’s new sculpture The cure will be completed in my body, silence your spirit to let me reach you, my skin will secrete angels and you will have forgotten and forgiven all. (2023), on view at ICA Miami, evokes a mythic world of her own creation.

Tau Lewis (b. 1993, Toronto) has had recent solo exhibitions at 52 Walker, New York (2022); National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa (2021); and Oakville Galleries, Ontario (2020). Her work has been prominently featured in prestigious exhibitions including the Venice Biennale: “The Milk of Dreams” (2022). Lewis’s work is held in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Library Collection, New York; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; among many others. Lewis lives and works in Brooklyn.

Lewis, whose exhibition is currently on view at the museum, is the fourth recipient of the Ezratti Family Prize for Sculpture. Inaugurated in 2019, the Ezratti Family Prize for Sculpture is awarded by ICA Miami to a living artist in recognition of their exceptional contributions in sculpture and supports the creation of a new commission. Building on the museum’s history of commissioning and presenting new works, the prize reflects ICA Miami’s ongoing commitment to promoting experimentation in artistic practice and providing an international platform for influential voices in contemporary art. Previous recipients of the Ezratti Family Prize for Sculpture are Chakaia Booker, Damián Ortega, and Robert Grosvenor.