Bockley Gallery is pleased to welcome Minneapolis-based painter Lissa Karpeh for her premier solo exhibition titled For the Love of Liberty. Characterized by bold colors and a commanding presence, Karpeh’s paintings will fill the gallery at the end of this fall season. The show will include a series of figural paintings featuring family, friends, and artists from the Liberian- American community in Minneapolis, as well as still lives of objects that hint at themes greater than their literal import.
As a first-generation Liberian-American, Karpeh uses painting as a means to tell stories that have been forgotten. The deeply complex narratives of oppression, freedom, and identity shape the imagery of her paintings in strokes of primary color. Her use of symbolism—the color red, an empty chair, a fufu box, an apple—highlight conversations around public attention, home, and education among other things. On color and symbolism, the artist says, “I’ve been drawn to the colors blue and red, these patriotic colors, because they’re very loud and always around. And so I wanted to bring them next to Black bodies.” Karpeh’s paintings grasp at a sense of belonging as her opposing identities straddle two worlds.