Jose Bedia
Tunkashila
1995
acrylic on canvas with found object 
71 1/2 x 86 inches 
JoBp 53 

 

Jose Bedia
Mato Tatanka
1995
acrylic on canvas 
71 1/2 x 119 inches 
JoBp 44

Jose Bedia
Wacekiya
1995
acrylic on paper 
38 1/4 x 49 7/8 inches 
JoBd 75 

Jose Bedia
Indian Sanatorium
1995
acrylic on paper 
38 x 49 3/4 inches 
JoBd 73    

Jose Bedia
Sunka Wakan
1995
acrylic on paper 
44 3/4 x 88 1/2 inches 
JoBd 81    

Jose Bedia
Mbua Ndoki Batalla
1995
acrylic on paper 
50 3/4 x 89 inches 
JoBd 84    

Jose Bedia
Te Vamos Nguria
1995
acrylic on paper 
38 x 49 3/4 inches 
JoBd 89    

 

Jose Bedia
Buen Npempe
1995
acrylic on paper 
38 x 49 3/4 inches 
JoBd 90    

 

Jose Bedia
Tewahila
1995
acrylic on paper 
49 7/8 x 38 1/4 inches 
JoBd 93    

Jose Bedia
Colonial Paradise
1995
acrylic on paper 
38 x 49 3/4 inches 
JoBd 96 

Jose Bedia
Moana Nkento Mbisi La Bana
1995
acrylic on paper 
38 x 49 5/8 inches 
JoBd 95    

 

Jose Bedia
Nfumbi
1995
acrylic on paper 
38 x 49 3/4 inches 
JoBd 100    

Jose Bedia
Nkumbe Makaro Ambuata
1996
acrylic on paper 
37 1/2 x 49 1/2 inches 
JoBd 107 

 

Jose Bedia
Nkisi Malongo Prueba Fuerza
1995
acrylic on canvas 
71 1/4 x 91 1/4 inches 
JoBp 46 

 

Jose Bedia
Initipi (Sweat Lodge)
1995
acrylic on paper
38 1/4 x 49 3/4 inches
JoBd75    

Jose Bedia
Chechere Ngoma (Drum Session)
1995
acrylic on canvas
99 1/2 x 71 1/2 inches
JoBp48    

 

Jose Bedia
Vamos, Yimbira Yimbira un Poco (Activating the Fetish)
1995
acrylic on canvas
71 1/2 x 92 1/4 inches
JoBp52    

Jose Bedia
Las Cosas Que Me Arrastran (The Things Which Drag Me Along)
1996
wax crayon, acrylic, found objects
21 x 10 1/2 feet (wall), 30 feet (floor)
JoBs47    

Press Release

Mi Essencialismo/
My Essentialism

May 10 - Jun 7, 1996


Starting May 10th, the George Adams Gallery will show Mi Esencialismo - My Essentialism, a new series of paintings and drawings by Jose Bedia. The exhibition was jointly organized by the George Adams Gallery, New York, the Hyde Gallery, Trinity College, Dublin, and the Pori Art Museum, Pori, Finland. Mi Esencialismo is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue with essays by Judith Bettelheim, Professor of Art at San Francisco State University, and Melissa Feldman, curator of the 1994 Bedia survey exhibition organized by the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia. Ten drawings and eight paintings from the series, as well as an installation created for the New York venue, will be on view through June 7th.

"Essentialism," writes Judith Bettelheim, "is most broadly understood as referring to a fixed aspect of a given entity." Which in ethnology translates as an immutable cultural characteristic. The anti-essentialist view, which Bedia shares, holds that a culture is never pure, but is constantly altered through contact with other cultures. As Ms. Feldman points out, "through his knowledge of ethnology and extensive travel, Bedia has adopted a pancultural point of view which acknowledges a fundamental commonality among different belief systems." Bedia, who is of mixed - Spanish and African - descent, was born in Cuba in 1960. At the core of his art is the language, imagery and beliefs of Santeria and Palo Monte, Afro-Cuban religions brought to Cuba during the 19th Century by slaves (the Kongo and the Yoruba of what is now Angola). Other significant influences are the Indians and the pre-Columbian civilizations of the Americas, as well as artists as diverse as Joseph Beuys, Robert Rauschenberg and H.C. Westermann.

In the current exhibition Bedia presents two series of paintings and drawings that combine 19th Century photographs of the Kongo and of North American Indians with his own hand-rendered versions of the same image. Bedia's re-rendered images are intended to present a non-Western viewpoint, supplying critical information that, as Melissa Feldman writes, "fills out the image to its full iconic potency." Bedias aim is not to deny the accuracy of the photograph, but to elucidate the additional layers of meaning in order to allow for a more sophisticated reading of the image or event depicted in the photograph.


Exhibition Checklist

 

1. Vamos, Yimbira Yimbira un Poco (Activating the Fetish), 1995
acrylic on canvas
71 1/2 x 92 1/4 inches

 

2. Nkumbe Makaro Ambuata (A Car With Wheels), 1996 
acrylic on paper
38 x 49 1/2 inches

 

3. Initipi (Sweat Lodge), 1995
acrylic on paper
38 1/4 x 49 3/4 inches

 

4. Tunkashila (Principal God of the Lakota Sioux), 1995 
acrylic on canvas

 

5. Mbua Ndoki Batalla (Sorcerer's Guard Dog), 1995
acrylic on paper
50 3/4 x 89 inches

 

6. Nkisi Malongo Prueba Fuerza (Fetishes Show their Strength), 1995
acrylic on canvas
71 1/4  x 91 1/4 inches

 

7. Sunka Wakan (Horse), 1995
acrylic on paper 
44 3/4 x 88 1/2 inches

 

8. Wacekiya (Prayer), 1995
acrylic on paper
38 1/4 x 49 7/8 inches

 

9. Indian Sanatorium, 1995
acrylic on paper
38 x 49 3/4 inches 

 

10. Tewahila (Lovers), 1995
acrylic on paper
49 7/8 x 38 1/4 inches 

 

11. Las Cosas Que Me Arrastran (The Things Which Drag Me Along), 1996
wax crayon, acrylic, found objects
21 x 10 1/2 feet (wall), 30 feet (floor)

 

12. Te Vamos Nguria (We Will Eat You), 1995
acrylic on paper
38 x 49 3/4 inches

 

13. Buen Npempe (Good Chalk), 1995
acrylic on paper
38 x 49 3/4 inches

 

14. Nfumbi (Ancestral Spirit), 1995
acrylic on paper
38 x 39 3/4 inches

 

15. Chechere Ngoma (Drum Session), 1995
acrylic on canvas
99 1/2 x 71 1/2 inches

 

16. Colonial Paradise, 1995
acrylic on paper
38 x 49 3/4 inches

 

17. Moana Nkento Mbisi La Bana (Prostitutes), 1995
acrylic on paper
38 x 49 5/8 inches

 

18. Mato Tatanka (Bear/Bull), 1995
acrylic on canvas
71 1/2 x 119 inches