Texas artist Xxavier Edward Carter uses the anonymized debris of financial transactions and sales pitches as his canvases for the debut exhibition at Cluley Projects in Dallas.
April 17–May 15, 2021
Cluley Projects, Dallas
Cluley Projects is the latest attempt by a mainstay of Dallas’s gallery scene to strengthen its brand with emerging talent and create serious opportunities for regional artists without representation. The new space from Erin Cluley Gallery debuts with a bold solo exhibition: Circulate: 7 Works On Paper by Xxavier Edward Carter, a Dallas artist who built his name on classically provocative performance gestures. The most public of these: 2018’s Sweet Jesus, for which Carter walked ten miles barefoot through Dallas neighborhoods to investigate the Christian church’s relationship to Blackness. He shouldered a wooden cross so large he had to carry it upside down.
Carter is ever one to embrace duality. He made the abstractions in Circulate using the anonymized debris of financial transactions and sales pitches as his canvases as a means to examine wealth. This work continues the story of a tapestry-like piece Carter installed in the front glass of the Nasher Sculpture Center for his turn in the museum’s street-facing series at the end of May 2020. Start Livin’ in the New World made a giant barcode of receipts and federal paperwork the artist positioned to surveil passersby at the height of the pandemic.
For Circulate, this paper trail becomes a hidden document of Carter’s existence over the past year and a slate for his drawing and painting. Looking toward artists like Alma Thomas and Jack Whitten and their transfigured canvases, the artist enters a tradition of abstraction in his own intense style. One can find traces of the round, altar-style shapes of the sculptures he employs in his performances set like hearths among the redactions.
This article was updated to reflect a changes since the time of publication. The gallery name is Cluley Projects, not Erin Cluley Projects, and the exhibition title is Circulate: 7 Works on Paper, not 7 Works on Paper.