Annie Cabigting’s installation series is a somber reflection on the role of artists, their significance and their mortality, both physical and historical.
For the show, Cabigting veils 14 black and white paintings in sheer grey fabric, covering yet revealing the series of works in this process. The paintings are images of famous artists’ gravestones: visual and textual evidence of one’s finite stay in this world. All of the artists represented here are famous figures one can encounter in surveys of Western art history, spanning the periods of the Renaissance to Modernism to contemporary art. Cabigting chooses their names not to edify the canon but to revisit the significance of their greatness, now long buried beneath the accolades and the aura of bestowed by fame.
Like markers of unseen tombs, the works underscore the transient yet enduring existence of the makers of art: how they have managed, within their lifetimes, to rebel against the rules—aesthetic, social or political—of their milieu and alter the way future generations of people are able to see the world and re-interpret reality.
Cabigting’s reference to the two conventions of spelling the color gray—in British and American English—is also an allusion to the two geographical centers of the art world, on opposite sides of the Atlantic, and the ways texts are concretely altered through context. In the same way that gray is a transitional tone, a blurring of territorial boundaries between black and white, the artist contributes to challenging the fixed categories and truths of our times.