By Osman Can Yerebakan



Tens of branches sprout out of a large white wall, each with a colored plastic bag hung to it at the entrance to Colorful Line, Pascale Marthine Tayou’s first exhibition in New York in over a decade. Plastic Tree (2018), a site-specific installation of variedly-hued disposable bags that cling to limb-like contorted wooden branches, encapsulates the overall tone of Tayou’s return to the city of urban grime, perpetual waste, and radiant tones. Transient, incidental, and intermediary, these bags of no attributed value or purpose receive distinct emphasis in lieu of the anticipated spring blossom. At once negligible and dull, the objects are rejuvenated through the power of diligence and attention, reflecting the essence of the Cameroonian artist’s oeuvre invested in hope and solidarity in its core. “Color brings a smile to people’s faces,” explains Tayou in his conversation with exhibition curator Jérôme Sans. “It celebrates life and affects me like a vitamin . . . The different variants of color are symbols of opening, they evoke all possible identities . . .”

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