Closely Watched Artist Tiona Nekkia McClodden Now Represented by Blue-Chip Gallery White Cube

White Cube, the London-based blue-chip gallery with locations in Hong Kong, Paris, Seoul, West Palm Beach, and a forthcoming one in New York, will now globally represent Tiona Nekkia McClodden, a closely watched artist, filmmaker, and curator.

McClodden will have her first solo show with the gallery at its Bermondsey space in London next February and will also feature in the inaugural exhibition at the New York space, a group exhibition titled “Chopped & Screwed” and curated by Courtney Willis Blair, White Cube’s senior director in the US.

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With an expansive practice that spans film and video, painting, sculpture and more, McClodden is perhaps best-known for her participation in the 2019 Whitney Biennial, for which she won that edition’s Bucksbaum Award for her video installation I prayed to the wrong god for you (2019). Her work often deals with the human condition and one’s relationship to their identity, filtered through her own lived experiences and her close study of and research into various archives.

Her work has also featured in major exhibitions like the Prospect 5 triennial (in 2021–22), “Grief and Grievance: Art and Mourning in America” at the New Museum (2021), and “Speech/Acts” at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia (2017). Her commission for an exhibition dedicated to the work of late artist Juan Francisco Elso, is currently on view at the Phoenix Art Museum after debuting at El Museo del Barrio in New York. She has also won the Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant in 2022 and a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2019.

“Tiona Nekkia McClodden’s meticulous practice is undeniable and we’re proud to be her global representation,” Willis Blair said in an email to ARTnews. “She stands apart in her remarkable investigation of desire and ritual, and it’s clear she’s a singular artistic voice of her generation.”

McClodden is also currently the subject of a solo exhibition at the Kunsthalle Basel, which opened a few weeks before this year’s Art Basel. The show focuses on notions of tension, control, and mercy—specifically how they relate to breathing and the flow of air—and features a number of new works.

In an interview with ARTnews on the occasion of the exhibition, McClodden said that with her exhibitions and work she hopes people leave with “something that is hard to shake off. That’s as much as I can gauge because I want to set things that are hard for me to shake off.”

McClodden has previously been represented by Company gallery in New York for several years and briefly joined Mitchell-Innes & Nash, where Willis Blair was partner until she departed in January to head up White Cube’s New York space.

In an email to ARTnews, McClodden said that the decision to join White Cube came “after much consideration and extensive conversation with a range of gallerists worldwide over the past year” and that she has “studied and revered” and ultimately been influenced by a number of the artists on the gallery’s roster, among them Doris Salcedo, David Hammons, and Tracey Emin.

“I felt strongly that White Cube was the best fit for my practice and for me,” McClodden continued. “The only studio visit I granted during my work production for my current Kunsthalle Basel solo exhibition was with White Cube’s Susan May, which lasted over three hours. It was one of the first times that I felt I was fully seen in a studio visit, and it was a beautiful exchange of knowledge. I met with Jay Jopling and had a brilliant conversation that I cherish greatly. White Cube is the only gallery where I personally met almost every person I would be working with: from the desk to the back office to the bookstore. Each of them felt deeply invested in what they do in a very important way to me.”

She added that she was also looking forward to working with Willis Blair again, whom she said “has greatly influenced how I position my work in the art world. She has been a figure in my life that has pushed my work to hold the space it does now.”


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