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Presenting a New Edition by Uman

Uman, Valentine, 2024, 26-color silkscreen print with gold leaf elements and hand embellishments in oil stick and acrylic paint on Coventry Rag paper, Courtesy Artspace

Artspace, Phaidon, and Independent are pleased to announce a new limited edition of silkscreen prints by New York-based contemporary artist Uman, entitled Valentine. Emblematic and vibrant, the edition of 35 signed prints features generous hand-embellished finishes and gold leaf.

Uman is known for kaleidoscopic color and an unmistakable language of symbols which is informed by expansive cross-cultural environments throughout the artist’s life. Her work has inspired the admiration of critics at leading publications including The New York Times, the New Yorker, CNN, and Artnet, who declare it “intense, playful, and powerfully consuming.”

Born and raised in East Africa, Uman emigrated to Denmark as a teenager and later to New York as a young adult, where she now lives and works. Her experiences in each place have coalesced into an energetic, intuitive, and rigorous practice that straddles abstraction and figuration, conjuring the worlds within and without.

‘I grew up with colorful women, a colorful culture. East African and Somali people love color more than anything. I’ve kept that in me, living here in the West, and I’m using that in my work to tell a story.’

As seen in Valentine, precise linework plays a significant role in Uman’s compositions, recalling the rhythm and elegance of Arabic calligraphy, which the artist studied as a child. Surrounded by nature in her rural Upstate studio, a reverence for nature and the sublime also permeates the artist’s work. 

“The original artwork was painted at my home in upstate NY in 2022, part of a group of three. I tend to make smaller paintings at home, this group was about four feet tall. The paintings were made outside in the sun with spray paint and acrylic and finished in my studio with oil sticks. I'll be signing and embellishing the prints with the same type of oil stick that was used for the original painting.” —Uman

Valentine will debut at the Independent Art Fair in New York this May. A portion of the proceeds from this print will be donated to support White Columns, New York. Uman’s new edition marks the second iteration of a collaborative editions program with Artspace, Phaidon, and Independent that celebrates contemporary artists of distinction inaugurated by the commission of Jameson Green’s Cain and Abel in 2023. 

About Uman
Uman’s self-taught practice explores gender and cultural fluidity through paintings hovering between abstraction and figuration. The Somalia-born, Kenya-raised artist first gained institutional recognition with a solo exhibition at White Columns in New York in 2015, and was the subject of a presentation with Nicola Vassell Gallery at Independent in 2022. Uman’s forthcoming exhibitions include Le Consortium, Dijon; The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Connecticut; Hessel Museum, Bard College, New York; and Nicola Vassell Gallery, New York.

Purchase the limited edition print here.

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