Colección: NIAD Gallery Exhibition // Day Or Night It Looks Like Night, organized by Liliana Herrera

On view September 2 through 23

Friday, September 9, 1:00 pm // Virtual Artist Talk and Curator Walkthrough 

Saturday, September 10, 1:00 - 4:00 pm // Gallery Reception

About the Exhibition

Day or Night It Looks Like Night is an expansion of an online exhibition with the same title. The online show was organized in early 2022, when COVID variants were resulting in an aggressive comeback of the virus. The selected works include NIAD and non-NIAD artists, and encapsulate the ebbs and flows during these vulnerable and emotionally fragile times, when the threat of illnesses and the effects of climate change are entangled in our everyday existence. 

Dorian Reid’s Day or Night it Looks Like Night, the exhibition’s namesake, is a depiction of September 9, 2020, a day that those of us in the Bay Area remember all too well: the day we awoke to smoky red skies caused by surrounding wildfires. Similarly, Luis Estrada’s tumultuous weatherscapes jump off the picture plane with a menacing intensity. 

When viewed from afar, Serena Scott’s calligraphy, in its repetitive form, appears to take on the form of a tally of days gone by, or a countdown, if you will—but a countdown to what? The next pandemic, perhaps?

Despair, however, is usually followed by hope. 

Julio Del Rio’s piece brings forth the feel of dividing cells in a vibrant fourth dimension. Likewise, the works by Peter Harris and Shantae Robinson seem to gain momentum—on the verge of shaping something larger and more robust. C.S. McIntire’s pieces evoke the moment of clarity after a foggy haze.

I interpret the works by Carlota Rodriguez and Evelyn Davis as flags of future, unknown nations—of civilizations that survived a world that will look vastly different from our current one. By the same token, Lucien Shapiro’s use of found urban objects implores us to imagine the materiality of art to come, while at the same time retaining a deeply rooted a priori that speaks to our soul. 

The ominous tones of some of the works are contrasted by others that emanate light. There are marks of repetition, and a ferocity of brushstrokes. There is contained stillness, and a propulsion of energy. These qualities are all reflective of both our precarity, and unwavering resilience.

Individually, these are visually strong works that represent an interiority that is at once nascent yet fully developed. At its core, it is a grouping of works that holds a quiet strength and serves as a testament to an abstract, ambiguous world—one filled with moments of gloom, but also of hope and growth. 

About Liliana Herrera

Liliana Herrera is the Exhibitions and Collections Associate at NIAD. She has worked at various art institutions in the Bay Area, including the Oakland Museum of California, and is a member of the Builder’s Society at The Mexican Museum in San Francisco. She majored in History of Art, and minored in Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley. She holds an MA and is a Doctoral Candidate in History of Art and Architecture at Harvard University, where her research expertise includes early modern portraiture.

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