Geoffrey Holder

Pleasures of the Flesh
Curated by Hilton Als
November 1—December 18, 2022

James Fuentes is honored to announce Geoffrey Holder: The Pleasures of the Flesh, curated by Hilton Als. A true polymath, Holder was a painter, photographer, choreographer, director, costume designer, dancer, actor, and composer born in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. In 1953, during his early twenties, Holder relocated to New York City, a move financed by the sale of his paintings and by 1956 he would receive a Guggenheim fellowship in painting. Focusing on Holder’s remarkable work as a painter, this exhibition spans the 1970s through the later part of his career.  

As a visual artist, Holder’s works evidence a singular and recognizable spirit of combined calm, elegance, and life force. He brought a controlled intensity to the way he portrayed his subjects; often visually isolated in the frame yet possessing a presence that filled the image. Holder was also a photographer, as represented in his volume, Adam, published in 1986 by Viking Press. While painting remains the lesser recognized of the disciplines that he is celebrated for, it was the medium most constant and central to him throughout his life, offering rich ground for experimentations in imagery, style, and representation.

In collaboration with the Holder family, Pleasures of the Flesh marks the gallery’s first exhibition of Geoffrey Holder’s work in representation of the artist’s estate. A two-part project, The Pleasures of the Flesh will coincide with Holder’s art fair debut at The ADAA Art Show, opening November 2-6, 2022 at the Park Avenue Armory, New York.

Hilton Als is associate professor of writing at Columbia University. He is a former staff writer for The New Yorker, the Village Voice, and an editor-at-large at Vibe. He has received the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism, Yale’s Windham-Campbell Literature Prize, the George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Als edited the exhibition catalog for Black Male: Representations of Masculinity in Contemporary American Art at the Whitney Museum of American Art (1994-95). His published books include The Women (1996), White Girls (2014), and My Pinup (forthcoming, 2022). 


Geoffrey Holder