Transparency and Opacity

April 12th – June 16th, 2023

Please check back for public programming added throughout the exhibition.

Join us for Drawn To Glass, a youth program to draw from life in our gallery! CLICK HERE


Caribbean poet, theorist, and scholar Edouard Glissant writes that “opacity” is the right of the subject not to be known and is a condition for a creolized and ethical world to emerge. This exhibition Transparency and Opacity brings together work by artists Jacek J. Kolasiński and Edouard Duval-Carrié that play with “light” to present gender, sexuality, religion, region, and nationality as always in transformation. Kolasiński presents parts of his ongoing Creole Archive (2015-present) that examines the connections between the dark-sinned, doleful Black Madonna of Częstochowa and the Haitian Vodou spirit Ezili Dantò, the patron saint of single mothers, lesbians, and those who identify as transgender and nonbinary and is known for her vengeance and rage. The Madonna is thought to have been brought to Haiti by Poles in the early 19th century. Through a wall of back-lit colorful plexi works, Duval-Carrié evokes Ezili Fréda, often connected to the glamour of pre-Hattian revolutionary mulattas. Fréda is the flamboyant Haitian African spirit of love, beauty, jewelry, dancing, luxury, and flowers. Both artists’ works point to the emancipatory quality of opacity in the face of histories of violence and subjugation of the Caribbean. 


When visiting the Agnes Varis Art Center, please be aware that this exhibition contains sensitive content referencing the history of trans-Atlantic colonization, enslavement, and their ongoing impacts. 


About the Artists-

Dr. Jacek J. Kolasiński is an associate professor of art and the founding director of the Ratcliffe Incubator of Art + Design at Florida International University (FIU). He has a PhD in Fine Arts from the  Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw and an MFA in Visual Arts from FIU. He lives in Miami, Florida, and grew up in Kraków, Poland, where he studied history and philosophy at Jagiellonian University. His work has been supported by grants from the Getty Library and Oolite Arts, among others, and exhibited internationally. He is an honorary member of the Art Academy of Latvia.

Edouard Duval-Carrié was born in Port-au-Prince. His family emigrated to Puerto Rico while he was a child during the François Duvalier regime. Duval-Carrié studied at the Université de Montréal and McGill University in Canada before graduating with a Bachelor of Arts from Loyola College, Montréal, in 1978. He later attended the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, France, from 1988 to 1989. He resided in France for many years but now lives among Miami's substantial Haitian immigrant population. 


About the Curator-

Alpesh Kantilal Patel is associate professor of contemporary art at Tyler School of Art and Architecture, Temple University, Philadelphia. His art historical scholarship, curating, and criticism reflect his queer, anti-racist, and transnational approach to contemporary art. He is the author of Productive Failure: Writing Queer Transnational South Asian Art Histories (2017) and is currently working on his monograph Multiple and One: Writing Queer Global Art Histories, under contract with Manchester University Press.


This exhibition was made possible with the help of the Green Family Foundation and The Haitian Cultural Arts Alliance. 


Read the digital essay here!

Exhibition photography by Blaine Davis.

Event Images
Event Schedule
April 12th – June 16th, 2023
Robert Lehman Gallery
647 Fulton St
Brooklyn, New York 11217