Vielmetter Los Angeles is pleased to announce our first solo exhibition by Deborah Roberts in our Downtown gallery entitled Native Sons: Many thousands gone.
Below is an essay commissioned on the occasion of Roberts’s exhibition by Dr. Cherise Smith of the University of Texas at Austin:
“The fourteen works on display reflect a shift in Roberts’s practice, from collages on paper that depict girls to mixed-media paintings, such as Our Destinies are Bound (2018), in which the artist focuses her gaze on Black boys. In recent years, Roberts has reminded viewers that Black girls are indeed girls whose youth is worthy of protection, whose intelligence is worthy of cultivation, and whose dreams are worthy of fostering, particularly in the moments of #MeToo and #MuteRKelly. In these new works, she turns exclusively to Black boys, whose well being and futures are equally at risk, while deepening her examination of the childhood years of African Americans—an exceedingly treacherous period of our lives.