The Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (CAM) presents an exhibition of new works by Dominic Chambers, the first in the artist’s hometown of St. Louis. The exhibition brings together a series of new large-scale paintings and sculpture by the artist, a rising star in the art world who has recently been featured on Forbes magazine’s “30 Under 30” list as one of the most promising artists of his generation. As part of the exhibition, CAM will also produce the first exhibition catalog of Chambers’ work. “Dominic Chambers: Birthplace” will be on view at CAM from September 8, 2023–February 11, 2024.
Dominic Chambers is known for his vibrant, evocative paintings that depict Black subjects in moments of contemplation and leisure. Consistent throughout his oeuvre is the rich interior lives of his subjects. At times restful and meditative, and other times scholarly and curious, his subjects are almost always spirited away by the magic of reading and respite.
In his luminous and deeply absorbing paintings, Chambers has explored contemporary concerns around race, personal and imagined narratives, and the complexity of one’s interior life. As an artist and writer, Chambers often draws inspiration from critical voices within the Black literary canon—particularly the writings of W. E. B. Du Bois, Octavia Butler, and Zora Neale Hurston. These influences take visual form in Chambers’ surreal landscapes and psychologically arresting portraits that present meditations on stillness and a radical interiority for his figures.
In “Birthplace,” Chambers recalls the spaces which facilitated his inner awakening as an artist and nurtured his imagination. Classrooms, playgrounds, libraries, and basketball courts are all represented within the exhibition, and each holds significant meaning to the artist’s origin story. The works are invitations to reflect upon and celebrate environments essential to our social development and collective imagination.
“We are delighted and honored to present Dominic’s first solo museum show in the formative city that nurtured his creativity as a young artist,” Executive Director Lisa Melandri said. “All of Dominic’s paintings—and in an exciting departure in his practice, a sculpture—are new and feature iconic spaces within our city: Fairground Park, the Saint Louis Art Museum, and Art Hill, to name a few. We are thrilled to share ‘Birthplace’ with our audiences, which promises to be a homecoming exhibition like no other.”
About the Artist
Dominic Chambers (b. 1993, St. Louis, MO; lives and works in New Haven, CT) received his BFA from Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, Milwaukee, WI in 2016, and his MFA from Yale University School of Art, New Haven, CT in 2019.