“When we sleep, where do we really go? What happens? How do we come back from sleep? What if I can’t come back?” These are questions the Zimbabwean artist Portia Zvavahera asks in her exhibition at Zwirner, its title translating as “I took my rest in sleep and then I awoke for He sustained me.” With expressive brushstrokes, Zvavahera attempts to breach consciousness and enter the depths of the subconscious. She draws inspiration from Zimbabwean figuration—especially from Thomas Mukarobgwa’s work in the 1960s—and thinks about pain, life, and death. Vivid colors, seeping paint, and elaborate printmaking make a seductive underworld of the unconscious. —E.C.
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