Leilah Babirye (born 1985, Kampala, Uganda) lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She studied art at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda (2007–2010), and participated in the Fire Island Artist Residency in 2015. In 2018, she received asylum in the US with support from the African Services Committee and the NYC Anti-Violence Project, and presented her first solo exhibition at Gordon Robichaux in New York.
In 2021, Babirye presented her first solo exhibition in London at Stephen Friedman Gallery. In 2020, Babirye’s work was the subject of two solo exhibitions—at Rebecca Camacho Presents in San Francisco (January) and at Gordon Robichaux (October–November)—and was featured in group exhibitions at Stephen Friedman Gallery in London, Parker Gallery and Marc Selwyn Fine Art in Los Angeles, and in the Public Art Fund’s Art on the Grid installed throughout New York City.
Babirye’s work was recently exhibited in Flight: A Collective History at the Hessel Museum of Art, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY (curated by Serubiri Moses); Stonewall 50 at the Contemporary Arts Museum (CAMH), Houston, Texas; Fur Cup at Underdonk, Brooklyn, NY (curated by Elisa Soliven); Strange Attractors at Kerry Schuss in New York (curated by Bob Nickas); Plays on Camp at Assembly Room (curated by Ksenia M. Soboleva); and in the Socrates Annual 2018 at Socrates Sculpture Park where she presented two monumental commissioned sculptures.
Babirye has participated in numerous panel discussions: at Tisch/NYU (organized by JD Samson); Yorkshire Sculpture International; The Africa Center; the 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair; and the Black Lesbian Conference at Barnard College in New York.
Profiles on Babirye and her art have been featured in The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Art Newspaper, Wallpaper, British Vogue, The Brooklyn Rail, Hyperallergic, Cultured Magazine; New York Magazine; Modern Painters; OUT Magazine; Raw Material: A Podcast from SFMOMA (Season 4: Luvvers); BET.com; and the Financial Times.
In 2021, Gordon Robichaux and Stephen Friedman Gallery published the first book dedicated to Babirye’s art with a text by Lauren O’Neill-Butler and a conversation with Rianna Jade Parker.
Gerald Jackson (b. 1936, Chicago) lives and works in Jersey City, NJ. In November 2021, Jackson will present his first solo exhibition at Gordon Robichaux, NY following recent exhibitions at White Columns (2021)—celebrated in The New York Times, The New Yorker, and New York Magazine—and Wilmer Jennings Gallery-Kenkeleba (2020).
Jackson’s history was outlined in an expansive–and essential–2012 interview with his friend, the artist Stanley Whitney that was published as a part of BOMB magazine’s ongoing ‘Oral History Project’, which is available on BOMB’s website.
After a stint in the army in the early 1960s, where he further developed his skills as a marksman, Jackson relocated from his native Chicago to New York’s Lower East Side, where he encountered and became a part of a community of vanguard artists and jazz musicians centered around Slugs’ Saloon, a now legendary jazz club on East 3rd Street that was active from the mid-1960s to 1972. After earlier studies at Chicago’s School of the Art Institute and then later at The Brooklyn Museum School, Jackson started to exhibit his own work from the mid-1960s onwards and was represented by New York’s Allan Stone Gallery from 1968 to 1990. He has had numerous exhibitions including at Strike Gallery, Rush Arts (curated by Jack Tilton), Gallery 128, and Tribes. .
His work has been included in a number of key group exhibitions including: Afro-American Artists: New York and Boston, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (1970); Black Artists: Two Generations, Newark Museum, Newark (1971); Jus Jass: Correlations of Painting and Afro-American Classical Music, Kenkeleba Gallery, New York (1983); The Black and White Show, curated by Lorraine O’Grady, Kenkeleba Gallery, New York (1983); Notation on Africanism, Archibald Arts, New York (1995); Something To Look Forward To, curated by Bill Hutson, Phillips Museum of Art, Lancaster, PA (2004), and Short Distance To Now – Paintings from New York 1967-1975, Galerie Thomas Flor, Dusseldorf, Germany (2007), among others. Jackson’s 1973 illustrated artist’s book of seventy-nine linoleum cuts Adventures in Ku-Ta-Ba Wa-Do is in the collection of both the Museum of Modern Art, New York and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.