Over his lifetime, Henri Matisse created just one sculpture that combined two figures. Before he changed its name to Two Women, it was called Two Negresses. The bronze figures stand side by side, faced in different directions, and each has an arm placed protectively over the other’s shoulder. Inspired by the original title, and by the powerful stance of both women, the Harlem-born artist Tschabalala Self has responded with three monumentally scaled works on canvas. In her quintessential style, Self “assembles” the figures from a number of components. Each work comes at the women from a slightly different angle, as if to tell a slightly different version of their story. —E.C.
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