Sunshine featuring works by Mark Fleuridor
Curated by Derrick Adams and Luisa Múnera
On view October 6-December 10, 2022
YoungArts Gallery | 2100 Biscayne Blvd., Miami
Miami native Mark Fleuridor’s artistic practice is shaped by his continued exploration of his personal history contextualized by his Haitian background. Inspired by both ancestral lineage and nature in the subtropics, Fleuridor uses photography to create layered reconstructions of family, friends, home spaces and tropical plants that manifest into entirely new environments.
Fleuridor’s earlier bodies of work are centered on a commanding central figure often engulfed in patterns reminiscent of lush flora. His latest body of work exhibits a clear progression of his focus on nature, departing from dominant figurative elements to arrive at abstract interpretations of the sun, destruction, and rebirth.
There is an underlying theme shared in Fleuridor’s figurative portraits and his boundless natural environments: the cycles of life. The human life cycle is investigated through deep considerations of generational connectivity, family and their respective lived experiences, and brought to life across mediums such as quilt-making, collages, and watercolors. This is underlined with the connected narrative of the cycles of the natural world and ultimately creates work that cohesively emerges out of the juxtaposition of figuration and abstraction.
“The flowers in my artworks are in reference to mango leaves. I use the mango fruit and leaves to represent the cycle of plants in relation to the cycle of life. This idea stemmed from a poem I wrote about how many of my memories are attached to the weather in Miami or what part of mango season it was. While growing up in Miami, I remember an abundance of fruits and vegetables in my own yard which my parents used for cooking or healing purposes.
Each piece in this series is based on specific ideas and scenes from my memories. For example, in the artwork “A place to leave, A place to return,” it shows collaged images of my parents in front of their home watering and posing in front of peas that my father grew. The title is sort of a riddle. “A place to leave, A place to return” refers to my own experiences of home. It is a place that I always want to leave when I’m there but want to return when I’m away.” –Mark Fleuridor
“’Enveloped by the Sun’ is a series of mixed media portraits made with materials such as ink, glitter and collage on printed watercolor paper. The series depicts individuals in a sun-drenched environment where they are held and protected by the sun. This work is an appreciation to those who have inspired me, such as family members and people in my community. The series incorporates mango leaves in an abundance of warm colors to compare the cycle of a mango season to the cycle of life.” –Mark Fleuridor
The earliest works on view are a collection of quilts, with the earliest one created in 2008. Using photographs from old family albums as inspiration and source materials for the quilts, Mark then selects portions from these photographs of everyday life and creates reconstructions of these moments. Even in these early works, the presence of plant-life, mangos and leaves are present in the background or emerging as pattern.
About Mark Fleuridor
Mark Fleuridor was born and raised in Miami. Working with painting, quilting and collage, the artist explores his personal and familial experiences. It is important for Fleuridor to understand his family by dissecting his own memories and family narratives through the labor of his art process. Working physically and digitally with materials that reference Fleuridor’s family helps him understand his community. Fleuridor has completed artist residencies such as Vermont Studio Center in Vermont and the Oxbow Artist Residency in Michigan, and is currently attending Oolite Arts Studio Residency Program in Miami Beach, FL.
About Derrick Adams
New York-based multidisciplinary artist Derrick Adams (b. 1970 Baltimore, MD) explores racial constructs within the built environment of American cities. Adams received his MFA from Columbia University in New York and his BFA from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. He is an alumnus of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and Marie Walsh Sharpe Foundation’s Studio Program.
Adams is the recipient of a Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Residency (2019), a Gordon Parks Foundation Fellowship (2018), a Studio Museum Joyce Alexander Wein Artist Prize (2016), and a Louis Comfort Tiffany Award (2009).
Through both large-scale installations that directly involve and implicate viewers and more intimate collages and paintings, Adams creates unconventional societal portraits that merge his subjects’ interior and exterior worlds. His illustrative, vibrant portraiture depicts the rich beauty and power found in Black leisure and joy. Adams’ tableaux occur in an expanded temporality that elides historical and contemporary symbols of Black empowerment, and uses elements of material culture to project a future of expanded mobility, autonomy and freedom.
Adams has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions, including Our Time Together (2021) at the Milwaukee Art Museum, LOOKS (2022) at The Cleveland Museum of Art in Cleveland; The Last Resort (2021) at Rhona Hoffman Gallery in Chicago; Style Variations (2021) at Salon 94 in New York; Buoyant (2020) at the Hudson River Museum in Yonkers, New York; and Transformers (2020) at Luxembourg & Dayan in London.
His work resides in the permanent collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Studio Museum in Harlem, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and the Birmingham Museum of Art.
About Luisa Múnera
Luisa Múnera (she/her) has been working at YoungArts since 2014 and currently serves as Associate Curator. In her role, Múnera has worked alongside curators such as Derrick Adams, Robert Chambers, Deanna Haggag, Maritza Lacayo and Jasmine Wahi to produce exhibitions ranging across mediums, generations and curatorial themes. Múnera has curated group exhibitions at the YoungArts Gallery, The Kennedy Center and The U.S. Department of Education as well as virtual exhibitions. She received her BFA from Pratt Institute and her MS from Parsons School of Design, The New School.
Special thanks to Miami DDA for ongoing support of YoungArts Campus exhibitions.