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Drew Weech’s “Ad Paintings” opens at TERN Gallery for Caribbean contemporary art

Bahamian painter Drew Weech displays his collected “Ad Paintings” together for the primary time at TERN, inaugurating the gallery’s online viewing platform

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — TERN Gallery is pleased to present “Ad Paintings”, a solo exhibition of works by Drew Weech, running from April 6 to June 30, 2021.

Drew Weech, “Ad Painting (051820)” (2020), oil Stick and flashe on canvas, 12×16. (PHOTOS: TERN GALLERY)

Weech’s “Ad Paintings” are the primary in a series of paintings making historical reference to memories and elements from the now Harlem-based artist’s home in The Bahamas. “Ad Paintings” draws inspiration from the motif of repetition often seen in promoting and popular visual culture. Through these paintings, a critique of the thought of “home” emerges, engaging with elements which have deep yet often-forgotten histories within the Caribbean.

The works presented on this exhibition are a part of an ongoing investigation Weech calls “Ad Paintings”, which he began working on in late 2019. Using mainly oil sticks and flashe paint, the artist intentionally evokes feelings of wheatpasted street posters, referring to the repetition and overlap of cultural histories and practices that remain over many generations.

Weech situates the subject material in relation to his Afro-Caribbean roots: the painted interruption of torn paper and emblematic visual elements — similar to palm trees and geographic coordinates — represent an urge to interact a multiplicitous history that is commonly neglected, denied or forgotten.

“Much of the work comes from conversations I used to have with my grandmother as a child concerning the past,” said Weech. “I learned lots concerning the similarities and the differences from my childhood within the ‘90s to her childhood within the Forties.

“This show really mines that history conceptually, and may be very much a love-hate critique of how I miss home and the way I’m learning to articulate that without putting it on a pedestal.”

Drew Weech, “Ad Painting (081920)” (2020), oil stick and graphite on canvas, 30×40.

Weech (b. 1984, Nassau, Bahamas) is a New York-based Bahamian painter. He graduated from NSCAD University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, with a BDes in Interdisciplinary Design in 2011. He explores various historical and contemporary archetypes similar to the nude and the vanitas to vivify his own conflicted feelings concerning the notion of “home”.

TERN is a new gallery in Nassau, The Bahamas, that opened its doors in December 2020. Recognizing the necessity for world-class contemporary art spaces to bring Bahamian artists to local and global acclaim, Amanda Coulson and Lauren Holowesko, along with Gallery Manager Jodi Minnis, debuted TERN, making a space of opportunity that had previously been absent in the customarily eurocentric art world.

TERN offers a platform for Bahamian artists to search out international success, setting pathways for young and emerging artists to access careers in the humanities beyond the prior realm of possibility.

To view Weech’s “Ad Paintings” in TERN’s virtual Viewing Room, visit its website at https://www.terngallery.com/viewing-room-drew-weech.

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