Derek Fordjour


For his first major solo museum exhibition, Derek Fordjour constructs an environment that places viewers in the heart of a storm. SHELTER, a makeshift, ramshackle structure is populated by the artist’s signature canvas works along with detritus culled from the urban environment—all collected here to evoke notions of safety, crisis, and impending harm. SHELTER heightens visitors’ awareness of their own temporal nature, and of those caught up in one of the human migrations across the earth, seeking shelter from a multiplicity of storms. A New York-based artist of Ghanaian heritage, Fordjour works primarily in the realm of portrait painting to create vibrant scenes that subtly address themes relating to race, systemic inequality, and aspiration, particularly in the context of American identity. SHELTER comprises a site-specific commission for the museum’s 60-foot long Project Wall, and an immersive installation room that combines two- and three-dimensional artworks.

Derek Fordjour: SHELTER is organized for the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis by Wassan Al-Khudhairi, Chief Curator, with Misa Jeffereis, Assistant Curator.