Rising Art Star Naudline Pierre’s Religious Upbringing Informs Her Ecstatic, Spiritual Canvases—See Them Here

The artist's colorful works reflect her personal history as the daughter of a Haitian minister and her own twist on a bevy of art-historical references.

Naudline Pierre, The Thrill of Affection (2018). Photo courtesy of Shulamit Nazarian.
Naudline Pierre, The Thrill of Affection (2018). Photo courtesy of Shulamit Nazarian.

“Naudline Pierre: For I Am With You Until the End of Time”
Shulamit Nazarian, on view through October 26, 2019

What the Gallery Says: “Naudline Pierre’s paintings and works on paper serve as portals into a mysterious world. Informed by her religious upbringing, Pierre’s works conflate the aesthetics of centuries-old traditions found in Western art history with the artist’s personal narrative…. Drawing inspiration from several periods of art history, Pierre reinterprets well-known biblical narratives—such as the Nativity or the Last Supper—with her unique palette of an ever-shifting spectrum of colors and dissolved androgynous forms…. While drawing from these specific periods, the artist has stated that she is ‘acknowledging the incredible history contained within my body and transferring it to a visual language co-opted from the dominant Western art historical canon.’”

Why It’s Worth a Look: Although Pierre graduated from the New York Academy of Art only two years ago, she’s already making a name for herself with a buzzed-about two-person booth at New York’s Armory Show in March; a group exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago earlier this year where her work was shown alongside the likes of Glenn Ligon and Lynda Benglis; and a coveted slot in the Studio Museum of Harlem residency program, which will culminate in a group show at MoMA PS1 in Queens next year. The daughter of a Haitian minister, Pierre grew up in a deeply spiritual community, witnessing exorcisms and learning about the prophets and the apocalypse. That religious imagery suffuses her canvases, which boldly incorporate female nudity while reclaiming the Eurocentric tradition of figurative painting for a black woman. Check it out before it’s gone.

What It Looks Like:

Installation view of "Naudline Pierre: For I am With Your Until the End of Time" at Shulamit Nazarian. Photo courtesy of Shulamit Nazarian.

Installation view of “Naudline Pierre: For I Am With You Until the End of Time” at Shulamit Nazarian. Photo courtesy of Shulamit Nazarian.

Installation view of "Naudline Pierre: For I am With Your Until the End of Time" at Shulamit Nazarian. Photo courtesy of Shulamit Nazarian.

Installation view of “Naudline Pierre: For I Am With You Until the End of Time” at Shulamit Nazarian. Photo courtesy of Shulamit Nazarian.

Installation view of "Naudline Pierre: For I am With Your Until the End of Time" at Shulamit Nazarian. Photo courtesy of Shulamit Nazarian.

Installation view of “Naudline Pierre: For I Am With You Until the End of Time” at Shulamit Nazarian. Photo courtesy of Shulamit Nazarian.

Naudline Pierre, <em>Wound</em> (2016). Photo courtesy of Shulamit Nazarian.

Naudline Pierre, Wound (2016). Photo courtesy of Shulamit Nazarian.

Naudline Pierre, <em>Descent</em> (2016). Photo courtesy of Shulamit Nazarian.

Naudline Pierre, Descent (2016). Photo courtesy of Shulamit Nazarian.

Naudline Pierre, <em>Hold Me This Way</em> (2017). Photo courtesy of Shulamit Nazarian.

Naudline Pierre, Hold Me This Way (2017). Photo courtesy of Shulamit Nazarian.

Naudline Pierre, <em>A Weight to Carry</em> (2017). Photo courtesy of Shulamit Nazarian.

Naudline Pierre, A Weight to Carry (2017). Photo courtesy of Shulamit Nazarian.

Naudline Pierre, <em>Blessed Are the Blessed</em> (2018). Photo courtesy of Shulamit Nazarian.

Naudline Pierre, Blessed Are the Blessed (2018). Photo courtesy of Shulamit Nazarian.

Naudline Pierre, Lest You Fall (2019). Photo courtesy of Shulamit Nazarian.

Naudline Pierre, Lest You Fall (2019). Photo courtesy of Shulamit Nazarian.

Naudline Pierre, <em>An Eternal Restlessness</em> (2018). Photo courtesy of Shulamit Nazarian.

Naudline Pierre, An Eternal Restlessness (2018). Photo courtesy of Shulamit Nazarian.

Naudline Pierre, <em>Take Great Care</em> (2019). Photo courtesy of Shulamit Nazarian.

Naudline Pierre, Take Great Care (2019). Photo courtesy of Shulamit Nazarian.

Naudline Pierre, <em>The Affliction of Love</em> (2019). Photo courtesy of Shulamit Nazarian.

Naudline Pierre, The Affliction of Love (2019). Photo courtesy of Shulamit Nazarian.

Naudline Pierre, <em>There, There (It Was Foretold)</em>, 2019. Photo courtesy of Shulamit Nazarian.

Naudline Pierre, There, There (It Was Foretold), 2019. Photo courtesy of Shulamit Nazarian.

Naudline Pierre, <em>Deal Kindly and Truly With Me</em> (2018). Photo courtesy of Shulamit Nazarian.

Naudline Pierre, Deal Kindly and Truly With Me (2018). Photo courtesy of Shulamit Nazarian.

Naudline Pierre, <em>Eternal Depth of Love Divine</em> (2019). Photo courtesy of Shulamit Nazarian.

Naudline Pierre, Eternal Depth of Love Divine (2019). Photo courtesy of Shulamit Nazarian.

Naudline Pierre, <em>Falling to You</em>. Photo courtesy of Shulamit Nazarian.

Naudline Pierre, Falling to You. Photo courtesy of Shulamit Nazarian.

Naudline Pierre, <em>Hold On, Hold Tight</em> (2019). Photo courtesy of Shulamit Nazarian.

Naudline Pierre, Hold On, Hold Tight (2019). Photo courtesy of Shulamit Nazarian.

Naudline Pierre, <em>Love Becomes Her</em> (2019). Photo courtesy of Shulamit Nazarian.

Naudline Pierre, Love Becomes Her (2019). Photo courtesy of Shulamit Nazarian.

Naudline Pierre, <em>Mercy and Goodness</em> (2018). Photo courtesy of Shulamit Nazarian.

Naudline Pierre, Mercy and Goodness (2018). Photo courtesy of Shulamit Nazarian.

Naudline Pierre, <em>Closer Still</em> (2017). Photo courtesy of Shulamit Nazarian.

Naudline Pierre, Closer Still (2017). Photo courtesy of Shulamit Nazarian.

Naudline Pierre, <em>For A Little While longer</em> (2017). Photo courtesy of Shulamit Nazarian.

Naudline Pierre, For a Little While longer (2017). Photo courtesy of Shulamit Nazarian.

Installation view of "Naudline Pierre: For I am With Your Until the End of Time" at Shulamit Nazarian. Photo courtesy of Shulamit Nazarian.

Installation view of “Naudline Pierre: For I Am With You Until the End of Time” at Shulamit Nazarian. Photo courtesy of Shulamit Nazarian.

“Naudline Pierre: For I Am With You Until the End of Time” is on view at Shulamit Nazarian, 616 N La Brea Avenue, Los Angeles, California, September 7–October 26, 2019.


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