Maya Stovall: Machine

Opening Friday, September 13th

Sep 13—Oct 26, 2019

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Installation image of 1526, 2019 and A____that defies, 2019. Photography by Clare Gatto
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Installation image from Maya Stovall's Machine. Photography by Clare Gatto
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Installation image from Maya Stovall's Machine. Photography by Clare Gatto
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Installation image of postcards which are a part of Stovall's 1526 series. The postcards have the date printed on one side and on the other, Stovall's writing of a significant event that occurred that year to focus upon. Photography by Clare Gatto
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Maya Stovall, 1526 (1526 NASDAQ: FAANG), no. 1, 2019. From the start, African American survivors work to end human trafficking and genocide, otherwise known as United States Slavery. An example of this work is organized resistance and rebellion. In 1526 South Carolina, among the first known U.S. Slavery locations, a successful rebellion is strategized and survivors establish local homesteads (Aptheker 1939, pp.16-17).
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Maya Stovall, 1895 (1526 NASDAQ: FAANG), no. 11, 2019. In 1895, the musician Buddy Bolden develops African American classical music—jazz. Combining African American, Africanist, and Afro-New Orleans aesthetics, Bolden’s band establishes the foundation of the jazz genre. Linking syncopation, order, improvisation, and spiritual-cultural traditions, jazz shapes international music and culture (Rollefson 2015, Gioia 2011, Morrison 1994).
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Maya Stovall, 1959 (1526 NASDAQ: FAANG), no. 23, 2019. Smokey Robinson theorizes Motown: “We are not only making music—we are making history” (Robinson 2009, in Times-Picayune). In 1959 the songwriter Berry Gordy establishes Motown Records Corporation in Detroit with an $800.00 loan from his family. Motown Records expands to an international enterprise, recording label, and distinct global sound known as the Motown sound. The earliest Motown Records artists include Eddie Holland, Mable John, Mary Wells, and The Miracles (Flory 2017). Selected Motown recording artists across the years include Erykah Badu, Boyz II Men, the Commodores, the Four Tops, the Jackson 5, Martha and the Vandellas, Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson, Gladys Knight and the Pips, the Supremes, Lionel Richie, Smokey Robinson, Diana Ross, the Temptations, Stevie Wonder (Flory 2017, Smith 2009).
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Maya Stovall, 1967 (1526 NASDAQ: FAANG), no. 26 , 2019. In 1967 at 12th and Claremont in Detroit’s North End after a Vietnam veterans welcome home party, in the teeny-tiny hours, the city explodes (Boyd 2017, pp. 202-203). Hundreds of years of white supremacist genocide and terror machine to police brutality; racist housing policy; gross education, employment, banking, finance, and judicial system disparities. The streets speak. Rebellions in 1833, 1863, 1943, and a youth-led rebellion of 1966 reflect Detroit’s ongoing, unequal reality (Boyd 2017).
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Maya Stovall, 1968 (1526 NASDAQ: FAANG), no. 27, 2019. By 1968, the artist and philosopher Adrian Piper establishes the category, conceptual art, with works including her book folio, Here and Now and her typographical work, Concrete Infinity 6th Square. With this new category, Piper expands contemporary art’s ontological possibilities (Wark 2001).
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Maya Stovall, 1981 (1526 NASDAQ: FAANG), no. 31, 2019. In 1981, the musician Juan Atkins releases the single, Alleys of Your Mind, on his Deep Space record label. With this new music, Atkins establishes the techno music genre—with Detroit techno. In addition to Atkins, key techno founders include the musicians Carl Craig, Eddie Fowlkes, Derrick May, Jeff Mills, and Kevin Saunderson. Atkins, May, and Saunderson—known as the the Belleville Three—are central to founding techno. Techno shapes international music and cultures (T. Stovall 2019, Schaub 2009).
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Maya Stovall, 2013 (1526 NASDAQ: FAANG), no. 40, 2019. In 2013, the city of Detroit files a petition for Chapter 9, Title 11, municipal bankruptcy. By debt, Detroit’s Chapter 9 filing is the largest in U.S. history at an estimated $18-$20 billion. After the filing, Governor Rick Snyder declares Detroit a state of financial emergency and appoints an emergency financial manager. Coincidentally, in 2013, former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is sentenced to 28 years in Federal Prison for alleged economic crimes during his mayoral tenure. Kilpatrick’s alleged economic crimes are estimated at $1 million (U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Michigan, 2013). The median loss for government related economic crimes is $739,500 ((United States Sentencing Commission 2019, What Does Federal Economic Crime Really Look Like?). Kilpatrick’s 28 year sentence contrasts with the United States Sentencing Commission’s median economic crime sentence for similar crimes: 23 months (United States Sentencing Commission 2019, What Does Federal Economic Crime Really Look Like?).
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Maya Stovall, 2019 (1526 NASDAQ: FAANG), no. 45, 2019. In 2019, a serial killer targets woman in Detroit’s McDougall Hunt neighborhood (Detroit News: Terry & Clark 2019, Hunter 2019). McDougall Hunt is the neighborhood in which Todd Stovall and Maya Stovall’s shared studio is and has been since 2012. 2019 is dedicated to 4 women and their families: Yvonne Cobern Travesene Ellis Nancy Harrison Tamara Jones Tamara Jones, who everyone calls Tammy, is the sister of a long-time friend of Greg Winters. Greg Winters is a close friend of Maya Stovall and Todd Stovall. A 5th woman is said to be pending in the case details at the time of this writing (Hunter 2019, Rose 2019). 2019 is dedicated to her, as well, should this be confirmed.

(Detroit, MI — August 26, 2019) — Reyes | Finn is pleased to present two solo exhibitions of new work by Maya Stovall and Yevgeniya Baras, titled Machine and Skirting Legibility respectively. The opening reception will take place at the gallery on Friday, September 13 from 6 to 8pm.

Maya Stovall, a fourth-generation Detroiter who splits her time between Detroit and LA, investigates monumental questions of existence. Equal parts conceptual artist and anthropologist, she works across moving and still image, objects, and performance, deploying frameworks of time, space, and place to press questions of historical context and contemporary living. For her first solo exhibition with Reyes | Finn, she presents a selection of wall-mounted neon works from her new series titled, A _____ that defies gravity. These works are presented alongside another new series, 1526 (NASDAQ: FAANG), drawing upon over 490 years and tens of thousands of pages of African American historical archives. Phase 2 of this exhibition will be presented at a later date. This is the artist’s first solo exhibition with Reyes | Finn, it is not her first time in the gallery’s location. In high school, she worked at 1500 Trumbull Avenue when it was a community center called Casa Maria Family Services.

Yevgeniya Baras is a Brooklyn-based artist whose slow, layered canvases function between sculpture in low relief and painting. Baras’s marks accumulate as stitches, folds, embedded found objects, and layers of paint. Her paintings may encounter abuse, instability, and abandonment, and become themselves in the process. Surfaces contain symbols and elements of text in Cyrillic and Latin. The resulting works emerge as bilingual objects, imperfect, spirited, and mysterious. For her first solo exhibition with Reyes | Finn, she will present eight new paintings.