One Step Ahead is a joint exhibition by Lyndon Barrois Jr. and Kahlil Robert Irving, that excavates a pivotal period of American culture and politics, examining loss as a stifling of progress. Reflecting on the affects of the assassinations of Civil Rights leaders Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr., Barrois Jr. and Irving mine cultural iconography, both celestial and terrestrial, presenting metaphorical and juxtapositional gestures that bring historic concerns into our present condition. Through both traditional and inventive strategies of making, One Step Ahead draws from the eponymous 1967 song by Aretha Franklin, which touches on time and the inevitability of heartbreak where love is concerned. In acknowledging two lives, two assassinations, and two directions of thought towards the progress of Black life in the United States, the artist hope to prompt past, present, and future reflections on mortality, while working to translate their perspectives into alternate ways of understanding identity and protest.
About the Artists:
Lyndon Barrois Jr. has exhibited nationally, including solo exhibitions at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, the University of Illinois Springfield Visual Arts Gallery, Fort Gondo Compound for the Arts (St. Louis), and group exhibitions at La Esquina (Kansas City), the Chicago Artist Coalition (Chicago) and Blackburn 20/20 Gallery (New York), to name a few. He received an MFA from the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Art at Washington University in St. Louis. He has held residencies at Atlantic Center for the Arts, Arteles Creative Center in Finland, and Nes Artist Residency in Iceland. Barrois Jr. was a teaching artist at the Stony Island Arts Bank in Chicago and a faculty member at Washington University and Webster University. He is currently the Museum Educator at Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis.
Kahlil Robert Irving is a multimedia artist living and working in Saint Louis, Missouri. He recently completed his undergraduate degree at the Kansas City Art Institute, double majoring in Art History and Ceramics. Currently he is pursuing a Master of Fine Arts at Washington University in St. Louis. At Washington University, Irving is a Chancellor’s Graduate Fellow. His work in the collections of the Riga Porcelain Museum, in Riga, Latvia; Foundation for Contemporary Ceramic Art in Kecskemet, Hungary, and the Ken Ferguson Teaching Collection at the Kansas City Art Institute in Kansas City, Missouri. His work has also been exhibited at the Vox Populi Gallery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Kansas City Artist Coalition, Kansas City, Missouri; Glassell School and Museum of fine art, Houston, Texas; and the Visual Arts Center, Boise State University, Boise, Idaho.