M+B is pleased to announce Duck Sauce, an online exhibition of new works on paper by Dapper Bruce Lafitte. Duck Sauce is Lafitte's second show with the gallery and will be available online from August 29 to September 19, 2020.
Dapper Bruce Lafitte's colored ink on paper drawings chronicle the pain, joy and pride of his native New Orleans. A self-trained artist, Lafitte was inspired to make work again in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina as a way to celebrate and commemorate his beloved city. In recent years, Lafitte's work has increasingly turned towards themes of Black struggle and protest, often taking as his subject matter the history of the South—in particular the Civil War era and the Civil Rights movement, especially as it continues today.
The works in Duck Sauce offer a detailed consideration of New Orleans and its history. The streets and fields are depicted in aerial panoramas, often overlaid with direct addresses to the viewer ("I see you lookin"), or interspersed with personal heroes such as heavyweight champion Jack Johnson. T.D.B.C. Presents A New Day Is Now describes a plantation populated with seemingly endless rows of cotton. Scattered across the composition are Lafitte's signature cloud shapes that introduce new narrative moments, from role models of the artist's youth to depictions of recent Black Lives Matter protests.
Self-named after the Lafitte Projects where he lived as a child, the artist pays bittersweet tribute to the city's public housing developments in an ambitious trio of intricate drawings. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, city leaders voted to demolish and redevelop the city's largest public housing projects, despite an outcry from their residents. The resulting gentrification of these areas displaced thousands of residents, removing them from the places they had called home for generations, in the neighborhoods they helped build. Lafitte memorializes these spaces as vibrant communities, with scenes of celebration, parades and funerals. With exacting detail, he captures the topography and particular character of each housing development and argues that any history of the city must include a consideration of these places, as they were some of New Orleans' most vital components.
Dapper Bruce Lafitte (formerly Bruce Davenport, Jr.) was born in 1972 in New Orleans. His works have been exhibited nationally and internationally, notably in the Prospect Biennial, New Orleans and in solo shows at the Ohr-O'Keefe Museum, Biloxi, MS; Atlanta Contemporary (curated by Daniel Fuller); Vacant Gallery, Tokyo; Fierman, New York, NY; and Louis B. James Gallery, New York, NY. Group exhibitions include those at the New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, LA; Ballroom Marfa, Marfa, TX (curated by Dan Cameron); Lambent Foundation, New York, NY; the Hickory Museum of Art, Hickory, NC; among others. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Harper's Magazine, Hyperallergic and Victory Journal, among others. In 2009, he was a recipient of a Joan Mitchell Foundation artist award. Lafitte currently lives and works in New Orleans.