To Wade in Troubled Waters

A solo showcase by Mosheh Tucker

On View: August 16–August 28, 2021
Gallery Hours: Monday–Friday, 4–7 PM; Saturday, 1–4 PM
Open Studio: Wednesday, August 11, 12–4 PM
Reception: Friday, August 20, 6–8 PM

Gallery 263 is pleased to announce To Wade in Troubled Waters, a solo showcase by Mosheh Tucker. The work on view in this exhibition was created by Tucker during his time as the Gallery 263 Artist in Residence over the course of six weeks this summer. This is Tucker’s first solo show outside of an academic setting. He recently graduated with a Master of Fine Arts degree from Boston University. In To Wade in Troubled Waters, Mosheh Tucker focuses on what lies beneath the surface to explore the relationship of the ocean to the transatlantic slave trade.

The artist incorporates Haitian Vodou and the cultural history of the African-Atlantic community—people of African descent throughout the Americas—to create layered works made with acrylic paint, oil paint, dirt, sand, and found objects. The central figure of this body of work is Agwé, the Haitian lwa who is the ruler or guardian of the sea. Lwa are spirits in Haitian Vodou, an African diasporic religion. The artist also draws from traditional Haitian practices, such as Vèvè making, which is the practice of creating Vèvè, or symbols representing different lwa, with cornmeal on dirt.

On view are paintings on panel, paintings on canvas, and two installations. Paintings on wood panels are roughly cut into by the artist, revealing hidden Black figures framed by splintered wood. In a painting on canvas that depicts a pictographic script developed by the artist, the surface is slashed and peeled back to reveal a blue material reminiscent of the ocean. Though the script, which represents the African-Atlantic bodily expression, can be translated, the artist prefers its meaning to be hidden. Adapting the tradition of Vèvè making, Tucker also created two installations on the gallery floor by drawing with blue sand—in lieu of traditional cornmeal—on dirt to present symbols from his personal script. In To Wade in Troubled Waters, Tucker imagines a visual universe of the African-Atlantic’s past and possible future.

The Gallery 263 Artist-in-Residence program is an annual juried opportunity that provides time, space, and a small stipend for artists. Due to COVID-19, gallery capacity will be limited. All visitors are kindly required to wear a mask. Gallery 263, a nonprofit art space, is free and open to all.

About the Artist

Born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts, Mosheh Tucker received a BFA from Lesley University in 2018 and an MFA from Boston University in 2021. Tucker comes from African-American and Haitian lineage; his mother is a first-generation Haitian-American, and his father’s family is African-American. Tucker’s interests include the arts, technology, and the sciences.


To Wade in Troubled Waters with Mosheh Tucker by Jess Costello for Boston Hassle

This virtual experience of  To Wade in Troubled Waters was made possible thanks to the generosity of rtangent. rtangent’s interactive platform, Guided, allows interpreters to virtually lead a group of people through a guided experience of a physical or virtual space. When a narrator is not present, users are able to explore the space on their own.

Learn more about Mosheh Tucker in an interview on Putnam & Pearl, Gallery 263’s online journal.

With Haitian lineage and work that incorporates elements of Haitian culture, the artist encourages anyone wanting to help with recovery efforts in Haiti to donate to the following organizations.