“Spots, Dots, Pips, Tiles” Exhibition

Hunter College East Harlem Art Gallery

poster for “Spots, Dots, Pips, Tiles” Exhibition

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Curated by Arden Sherman and María Elena Ortiz

Hunter East Harlem Gallery at Hunter College presents the exhibition, Spots, Dots, Pips, Tiles: An exhibition about dominoes. The group exhibition showcases artworks that reflect the multilayered aspects of the domino game, a tradition that is heavily practiced in the neighborhood of East Harlem and communities with strong Caribbean ties. The show features over 19 international contemporary artists working in a variety of media, including painting, mixed-media, sculpture, installation, and video.

Spots, Dots, Pips, Tiles examines how artists have approached the game of dominoes—its history, community, strategy, and aesthetics—as metaphor and practice. Dominoes, a popular game with origins dating to ancient China, has a discernible aesthetic, political vantage point and offers a look into specific communities that grow around the domino table.

Many of the works in Spots, Dots, Pips, Tiles directly reference the game of dominoes, take up the actual tiles themselves as visual language, and explore the impact of the game on the lives of artists like Donald Evans, Nari Ward, and Edra Soto & Dan Sullivan. Other artists like Glendalys Medina, Erika Verzutti, and José Bento take up the aesthetics of the game—the stark contrast of black on white, the geometry of the tile and the square game table, or the discerning look of concentrated “strategy” in mid-play. Artists like Papo Colo, Rodolfo Peraza, and Betye Saar approach the subject in terms of larger human conditions like political struggles, religious beliefs, and racial stereotypes. Inside the gallery, visitors will encounter a documentary section containing historical and contemporary photographs and ephemera from around the world, underscoring the breadth of the game internationally. Spots, Dots, Pips, Tiles is threaded with examples of artists addressing the complexities of dominoes as game and a metaphor for community, aesthetic inspiration, and theory for international relationships.


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