Sadie Coles HQ presents Wave Your Flags II, the second chapter to Alvaro Barrington’s recent exhibition at The Tabernacle in Notting Hill, London. This new group of paintings features large and medium-scale hibiscus flowers painted in the flag colours of the Caribbean nations presented in sculptural frames that speak to the ubiquitous materials used for housing structures in the region. As the national flower of Jamaica, Barrington has often abstracted the hibiscus motif through gestural painting as a symbol for community, celebration, sexuality and nostalgia, and here repeats the image across the exhibition in a nod to Andy Warhol’s Flowers series (1964) and ideas around tradition and mechanical reproduction in the context of cross-cultural exchange.
Wave Your Flags II furthers Barrington’s Garvey series of exhibitions, an ongoing investigation into the legacy of Jamaican writer, entrepreneur and Pan-African activist Marcus Garvey (1887-1940), who was born in the Caribbean and later moved to New York and then London. Through these distinct bodies of work, Barrington looks to his own comparable Trans-Atlantic migration – having been born in Venezuela, raised between Grenada and Brooklyn, and now living and working between London and New York.