September 25, 2018

Jeffrey Gibson: DON'T MAKE ME OVER

Maria & Alberto de la Cruz Art Gallery at Georgetown University

Jeffrey Gibson, I Try, 2018. Acrylic and graphite on rawhide over wood panel, 22.125 x 17.5 x 2 inches. Photo: Peter Mauney. © Jeffrey Gibson.

This fall, Georgetown University launches a flagship exhibitions space with a cycle of world-class art exhibitions and engagement programs, marking an exciting moment in the evolution of both the arts and multidisciplinary programming on Georgetown’s campus and in the nation’s Capital. The Maria & Alberto de la Cruz Art Gallery will be a unique intellectual and creative incubator that places artists at the center of critical conversations; the artistic voice will be a platform to promote cross-cultural understanding and advance social justice.

The Maria & Alberto de la Cruz Art Gallery is proud to launch its annual exhibitions cycle with Jeffrey Gibson: DON’T MAKE ME OVER, on view September 27 through November 18. Gibson—an acclaimed Choctaw-Cherokee artist whose work celebrates Native American culture, queer identities, and Modern aesthetics—will present all new work, including ten paintings on rawhide, an installation, and a performance piece. Informed by tradition, but focused on the future, Gibson is equally at home at a gay disco or an intertribal powwow; Gibson’s complexity is reflected in this exhibition.

Gibson’s vivid, delicately layered paintings on rawhide pulse as if to a drumbeat and respond to the natural mottling of the support. The ten intimately scaled diptychs in the exhibition mark a new direction in Gibson’s painting oeuvre. For the first time, two irregular halves form a whole, with the frame an equal player in the composition. Gibson describes these quirky, asymmetrical works as “queer paintings, not as rooted in gay culture, but full of potential to be the Other.” As a queer youth struggling to find his own voice, the young Gibson found pop lyrics best described his feelings; today he uses them as titles for some works and elements within others. Gibson borrowed Dionne Warwick’s first single (1962) for the name of this exhibition, the performance he will stage at its opening, and the room-like installation piece on view. Inside the installation piece, one of Gibson’s handmade performance garments hangs on tipi poles. This is a safe space for Gibson to explore his “female self,” along with other identities. Jeffrey Gibson: DON’T MAKE ME OVER will open with a public reception and performance on September 27, from 6 to 8pm.

Beth Katleman: Strange Arcadia is also currently on view through December 9 in the University’s Lucille M. and Richard F. X. Spagnuolo Art Gallery project space. This exhibition features two of the New York-based artist’s immersive porcelain installations. Katleman casts mass-produced items like bobbleheads, and cake toppers then combines the resulting components into island-like vignettes inspired by both eighteenth-century royal palaces and a dark sense of humor. The myriad figures that populate Katleman’s ceramic installations are fired without glazes, leaving them with stark white surfaces that convey innocence. However, a closer look reveals unsettling juxtapositions and incongruous narratives she describes as “cheerfully apocalyptic.”

Season two at the new Georgetown University Art Galleries will begin on January 24, 2019, with the opening of a unique solo exhibition that will place the work of internationally renowned artist Glenn Ligon in new context.

Maria & Alberto de la Cruz Art Gallery
3535 Prospect St. NW
Washington, DC 20007

Lucille M. and Richard F. X. Spagnuolo Art Gallery
1221 36th St. NW
Washington, DC 20007

Hours: Wednesday–Saturday 10am–6pm and Sunday 1–5pm
Contact: email us at GUartgalleries [​at​], or visit

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