Art Basel Miami Beach
5 - 9 December 2018
“Backroom" is a site-specific installation that departs from the clinical, austere feel of a convention-center booth in favor of a transformed backlot environment that evokes both a shanty-styled stockroom and a backside to a traveling show. Fordjour recontextualizes a space of dealmaking and display by building up a typically pristine interior with locally sourced materials, including loose pea gravel and corrugated steel, tuning the texture and tweaking notions of value and values. A space simultaneously beautiful and wrought, “Backroom" is an atmospheric stage for a showcase of the artist’s lush, textural portrait painting and a large kinetic sculpture. “Backroom" brings the artist’s studies of game, carnival and sport — as well as the implied power structures around rewards and sanctions — to the venue of a prominent art fair.
Derek Fordjour (b. 1974, Memphis, TN) is a New-York-based painter, sculptor and installation artist. He was the 2016 artist-in-residence at the Sugar Hill Museum in Harlem and the 2017 artist-in-residence at the Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program in New York, and is a visiting critic and lecturer at universities including Yale University and the Cooper Union. Fordjour was the subject of a solo exhibition entitled Half Mast at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 2018, and the 2018 recipient of the MTA Commission for a permanent work of art to be installed at 145th street subway station in Harlem.
The artist will hold his first solo exhibition at Josh Lilley in May 2019.