Browse By

Art of Our Century Presents Group Show “If You Only Knew”

Group Show Opens Fall Art Season

If You Only Knew

Art of Our Century is pleased to present a group show “If You Only Knew,” curated by Uman, the noted Somali-born multimedia artist.

The show is a reunion of friends, and friends of friends of Uman; stories told through painting, photography, sculpture and objects with memories.

Participating artists include Denis Arvay, Julius Bustamante, Johnny Cruz, blair dorosh-walther, Richard Lau, Janet Laing, Ruben Lopez, Stephen Nelon, Illest Rated, Roberta Rivera, Ladan Siad, Uman and LA Willette.

The artists are all predominantly self-taught. Their work ranges from portraiture to collage, which embrace both folk and outsider-ish mannerisms, especially evident in the precise use of scavenged materials.

This exhibition of extraordinary new pieces opens September 10th, 11th and 12th; to encourage social distancing, the opening reception will stretch over the three afternoons, from 4 to 7 pm each day.

Wine, and hand sanitizer, will be available to gallery guests at all times.

“Fifteen years ago I found myself sleeping on the roof of 137 West 14th St.,” Uman says. “Sleeping, painting, and hiding from the streets when I needed a roof over my head.”

“I had met the landlord, Kenny Gutierrez, through a mutual friend, Annatina Miescher. The landlord invited me to store my art work in the building for as long as I wanted.

”I was an invited guest who had overstayed my welcome but everyone looked the other way as I squatted on the roof and hung out with the construction crew working on the building next door.

”Through nurture and care from friends and loved ones I began showing my work,” she says.

Miescher and Uman later co-founded 137 Artist Collective, in a space one floor below the roof where Uman once slept. Artists from the studio have been exhibited at the Institute of Contemporary Art (London), Ramiken Crucible (New York) and Blum and Poe (New York and Los Angeles).

The exhibit marks nearly to the day the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2015 opening of Uman’s first solo show, at the venerable White Columns gallery, after gallery director Matthew Higgs made a studio visit to 14th St.

That was followed by 35 Years a Black Sheep (Louis B. James Gallery) and The Universe II (Galerie Anne de Villepoix, Paris)

Uman’s most recent solo effort, at the Fierman Gallery in 2019, earned a glowing review from Roberta Smith in The New York Times.

“If You Only Knew” runs through October 11. Regular hours are Thursday to Sunday 2 pm to 6 pm, and by appointment.

More information can be found on our website,

Leave a Reply