Jul 16th 2021

Stemming from a deep mutual respect and interpersonal exchange, Conrad Egyir and Ato Ribeiro created a two-person exhibition with new works rooted in new possibility and meditation on the creative process. What is the work we make for ourselves and for each other?

Conrad Egyir creates bold, bright, and graphic narrative paintings laden with references ranging from pop art, contemporary American culture, political propaganda, biblical parables, and Ashanti iconography. Using friends and acquaintances as his models, Egyir carefully builds uncanny compositions that oscillate between contemporary and timeless; his paintings are figurative and representational yet also spiritual and surreal. Ato Ribeiro meticulously pieces together wood fragments into richly variegated wall assemblages filled with complex, allover geometric forms. Using only the natural variation of woods, from light ash to dark ebony, Ato’s patterns pull from visual codes found in West African strip woven cloths and quilting traditions of the American South, but they elude strict narrative.

The two artists met as students at Cranbrook Academy of Art’s MFA program. Their distinctive practices converse through their mastery of craftsmanship, a deep drive to make a unique mark within ancestral visual traditions, and their interest in the interplay between painting and sculpture.

Every Time I Try to Get a Peace of Mind is organized by Anastasia Tinari Projects in a temporary location at 673 N Milwaukee Avenue. The gallery is open Thursday through Saturday, 12 – 5pm, and by appointment (email anastasiatinariprojects@gmail.com to schedule). Following CDC guidelines, we ask those who are not fully vaccinated to wear a mask inside the gallery.

Conrad Egyir (b. 1989, Accra, Ghana) is a painter based in Detroit, MI who creates bold, bright, graphic narrative paintings and portraits that stylistically pull from pop art, political propaganda, and religious art. Addressing contemporary American culture, biblical parables and Ashanti iconography from his native Ghana, Egyir’s work explores questions of ethics, honesty, identity and the social-psychology of community. Conrad Egyir received his MFA from the Cranbrook Academy of Art. In 2020, the artist enjoyed a solo show at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD) and his work is in the permanent collections of: Pérez Art Museum, Miami; The Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit; Rennie Collection, Vancouver BC; the JPMorgan Chase Art Collection, NY; Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine, Pasadena; and the Cranbrook Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills, MI. Egyir has been awarded residencies by Vermont Studio Center; ACRE Residency, Wisconsin; the Ox-Bow School of Arts and Artist Residency, Saugatuck, MI; and the International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP), Brooklyn. In 2021, he will enjoy solo presentations at UTA Artist Space (Beverly Hills, CA) and the Institute of Contemporary Art San José, as part of their ongoing public art program The Facade Project. He is represented by Jessica Silverman.

Ato Ribeiro (b. 1989, Philadelphia) is a multidisciplinary artist working in a variety of media including sculptural installation, drawing and printmaking. He works between Accra, Ghana and Atlanta, Georgia, where he is currently serving as a MINT 2021 Leap Year Artist. He was the 2017 Mercedes-Benz Financial Services Emerging Artist Award recipient, Artist in Resident at Künstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin, Germany, and received fellowships at Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, VT, The Studios at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA and Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture in Madison, ME. His work has been exhibited at Oglethorpe University (Brookhaven, GA), the Lisa Sette Gallery (Phoenix, AZ), Nubuke Foundation (Accra, Ghana), Cranbrook Art Museum (Bloomfield Hills, MI), the N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art (Detroit, MI), the Rozsa Center (Houghton, MI), and Anastasia Tinari Projects (Chicago, IL) among others. Ribeiro received a BA from Morehouse College and an MFA from the Cranbrook Academy of Art.

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