Gordon Shadrach + Gio Swaby: Net Worth

5 - 28 March 2020

United Contemporary invites you to Net Worth, an exhibition of new paintings and sculptures by gallery artist Gordon Shadrach, and introducing the work of Gio Swaby.


Net Worth is an exhibition by Gordon Shadrach that explores how stereotypes impact the value North American society places on Black men. Questioning what constitutes Black masculinity, Shadrach takes inspiration from such ongoing stereotypes as athleticism and strength in Black men, including images of sports and physical labour. Black Americana ephemera is showcased in conjunction with these contemporary depictions of blackness, thus tracing a line from these examples of historical oppression to today’s fetishization of the Black male body. By connecting depictions of contemporary Black men with historical references, Shadrach questions the seemingly optimistic, albeit dubious, values of power and strength as they are applied to Black masculinity, and suggests how such images are the production of the long reach of historical, systematic racism.



This exhibition will also introduce the work of Giovanna Swaby to the United Contemporary audience. In 2021, Gio and Gordon will feature in a collaborative exhibition being organized by the D'Aguilar Foundation in the Bahamas and United Contemporary in Toronto. D'Aguilar Art Foundation - DA


Gio Swaby is a mixed media artist whose practice encompasses installation, textiles, collage, performance, and video. Swaby was born and raised in Nassau, Bahamas where she obtained her Associate of Arts degree at The College of The Bahamas in 2012. In 2014, she moved to Vancouver, British Columbia to pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree majoring in Film, Video and Integrated Media at Emily Carr University of Art and Design. Swaby completed the program in 2016 and is currently based in Vancouver.


Net Worth was recently featured on Artoronto. Read their interview with Gordon Shadrach here.

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