The word “positive” holds multiple meanings—it describes the beneficial and affirming, but also refers to scientifically verifiable data. In the space between these meanings, how might we ascertain the value judgements hiding within the rhetoric of objective knowledge? Christina Coleman’s recent body of work draws on the aesthetics of statistical graphing to question the visual rhetoric of social science. Coleman mobilizes the tools and products of African-American haircare as materials for drawing in space, constructing conceptual installations that vacillate between abstraction and representation. The elegant appearance of this data both evokes and our efforts to understand the human phenomena to which it refers.
Christina Coleman is a visual artist working in sculpture, drawing, and installation. Utilizing various materials ranging from commercial hair products to traditional fine art tools, Coleman works through subjects including the body, space, identity, and abstraction. She holds a B.A. from the University of California at Los Angeles and an M.F.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. In the summer of 2011, she was an artist-in-residence at the Contemporary Artists Center at Woodside in Troy, NY. From 2016 to 2017, she served as co-curator at de stijl | PODIUM FOR ART, a gallery in central Austin. Her work has been exhibited in solo and group shows in Central Texas, most recently including I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings at the George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center, The First Horizons of Juno at MASS Gallery, and A Spatial Continuum in Black at Texas A&M International University.