In Igshaan Adams’s first exhibition at Casey Kaplan, the Cape Town, South Africa-based artist presents embellished woven tapestries so intricate they shimmer like mirages, nearly impossible to contain within one’s field of vision. The exhibition’s title, “Veld Wen,” comes from an Afrikaans phrase meaning “to gain ground.” Likewise, the patterns on view take inspiration from vestiges of linoleum flooring found in houses belonging to the artist’s friends and neighbors in his hometown of Bonteheuwel. And the array of materials represented in these designs—from turquoise beads and pale shells, to chains of gold and silver, to cotton twine and multi-colored yarn—originated entirely from within this locale.
Apart from the tapestries, the show also presents a series of diaphanous, storm cloud-like sculptures that hang from the ceiling, suspended just above the ground. Here, delicate beading and string thread through steel wool-like tufts of wiring. In form, these pieces recall Rieldans, an indigenous dance that makes use of dust as an element; nodding to this, each of these works incorporates detritus from Adams’s studio.
Igshaan Adams, RENTMEESTERIN (stewardess), 2021. Wood, plastic, glass, shells, paint and stone beads, polyester and nylon rope, chain, fabric, cotton twine, 110 x 87 inches. Photo: Jason Wyche © Igshaan Adams. Courtesy the artist and Casey Kaplan, New York.