Conrad Egyir: Chapters of Light
The ICA San José is pleased to present the first and largest West Coast exhibition of work by Conrad Egyir. Egyir is a Ghanaian artist based in Detroit, working in figurative narratives of the African Diaspora. His work blends religious and West African folk iconography within domestic scenes, portraying  a deep understanding of the history of portraiture. He utilizes shaped canvases and relief elements to reference stamps and postcards as metaphors for migration; journals, books, binder tabs, and chapters as metaphors for time and the archiving of ideas.

Egyir’s portraits portray close friends and sometimes the artist himself, exploring the assumptions and presumptions made when looking at others. The artist connects the theme of identity and book imagery through the age-old idiom “don’t judge a book by its cover.” Conrad Egyir: Chapters of Light will premiere a series of monochromatic works in which Egyir blends the subject’s clothing, surroundings, and background with a nod to the graphic style of Pop Art. In addition to paintings, the exhibition will feature a charcoal drawing, a large vinyl installation, and an interactive portrait room where visitors can build their own scene for a self-portrait.

This exhibition will be on view in the ICA San Jose’s Main Gallery and will open on October 1st, 2021 in conjunction with Conrad Egyir: A Chapter of Love, a Facade Project at the ICA San José.

Conrad Egyir: A Chapter of Love and Conrad Egyir: Chapters of Light are generously supported by program partner Facebook Open Arts, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Pamela and David Hornik, Tad Freese and Brook Hartzell, and Applied Materials.

About the Artist:
Conrad Egyir (b. 1989, Accra, Ghana) received his MFA from the Cranbrook Academy of Art. In 2020, the artist enjoyed a solo show at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD) and his work is in the permanent collections of: Pérez Art Museum, Miami; The Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit; Rennie Collection, Vancouver BC; the JPMorgan Chase Art Collection, NY; Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine, Pasadena; and the Cranbrook Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills, MI. Egyir has been awarded residencies by Vermont Studio Center; ACRE Residency, Wisconsin; the Ox-Bow School of Arts and Artist Residency, Saugatuck, MI; and the International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP), Brooklyn. In 2021, he will enjoy solo presentations at UTA Artist Space (Beverly Hills, CA) and the Institute of Contemporary Art San José. He is represented by Jessica Silverman.


When: Friday, October 1st, 5-9PM, performances 7-8pm

(Note: We will be closed during the day)

Members Only Walkthrough: Friday, October 1st, 4-5PM

Free and open to the public.


Ppsot thumbnail image: Conrad Egyir, A Chapter of Love (detail), 2021, reproduction of painting on vinyl. Courtesy of the Artist and Jessica Silverman.

Side images: 

Conrad Eygir, Mediums of the Sun, 2021, Oil, acrylic, mounted wood on canvas, 70 × 60 inches. Collection of David and Pamela Hornik

Conrad Egyir, A Chapter of Love, 2021, reproduction of painting on vinyl. Courtesy of the Artist and Jessica Silverman