Shushan's hands

Curated by Paola Gallio

LIVE ONLINE Thursday, April 28
On view until June 17

Featuring works by Eve Ackroyd, Matt Jones, Keiko Narahashi, Bea Parsons, Marta Pierobon, Jamie Romanet, Mary DeVincentis, Aurélie Salavert, Alessandro Teoldi.

Shushan is the name of Arshile Gorky's mother. He painted multiple versions of a portrait of himself as a child with his mother from a picture taken before they fled Turkey after the Ottoman Empire's Armenian Genocide. Shushan died of starvation during their journey to the US.

Hands' impressions on caves' walls have been one of the first subjects in Art History. They have acquired a solid symbolical, pagan, and religious iconography through the centuries: Fatima, Kali, and The Trinity.

Hands were the vehicle for communication before languages were established. They represent man and woman, left and right, wrong and good, and are healers and energy channels in Shamanic rituals. Touch is one of the most sophisticated senses.

Hands can stop or welcome, unify or divide and protect. They can count and build and feed.

Hands are identifiers.

The painting "The Artist and His Mother" was found on the aisle after Arshile's death; he kept working on it his entire life, but he never could finish drawing his mother's hands.

Guarantee peace and protection is a collective effort. Everything is in our hands, our future, and our freedom. It is essential to send a welcoming gesture, a message of unity in this political moment. Through the work of these artists, we will restitute hands to Shushan.

— Paola Gallio