The Canyon
Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati

What the Museum Says: “Swoon [aka Caledonia Curry] is a pioneering social champion in a field traditionally dominated by men, machismo and activities deemed illegal; she has overcome every barrier to re-define what ‘street art’ means today. This exhibition showcases multiple dimensions of Curry’s multi-faceted practice, including a new site-specific installation, re-stagings of past landmark projects and a survey of her socially-driven work in countries like Haiti and Kenya.”

Why It’s Worth a Look: Completely consuming the space of the Zaha Hadid-designed Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, “The Canyon” recalls the celebrated street artist’s beginnings as a guerrilla artist New York. It features, among other works, a new immersive, mixed-media installation, “Medea,” reflecting on Swoon‘s childhood, during which she witnessed her parent’s lifelong struggle with addiction and substance abuse. The relevance of the many subjects Swoon has addressed in her cut-paper wall works throughout her 18-year career, ranging from the opioid crisis, to the treatment of refugees, to women’s issues, gives this show a significance that is even greater than the sum of its impressive parts.

What It Looks Like: 

Swoon’s Thalassa in “The Canyon” at Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati. Photo courtesy Tod Seelie.