Exhibition Detail

Exhibition view of Bakpak Durden: The Eye of Horus. PD Rearick, photographer.

Bakpak Durden: The Eye of Horus

November 5, 2022 - March 19, 2023
Upper Galleries

Bakpak Durden is a self-taught artist born and raised in Detroit. Durden’s hyperrealistic work draws upon diverse inspirations, including dramatic cinema and Dutch Baroque painting.

The Eye of Horus is Durden’s first solo museum exhibition and the inaugural show of the Cranbrook Art Museum’s Fresh Paint series, which highlights new work from Detroit-based artists. The Eye of Horus is an ancient Egyptian symbol and concept thought to have healing and protective powers. In addition to its appearance in ceremonial rituals and mythology, the icon was also used in ancient mathematical and neurological contexts. For this exhibition, Durden explores the physiological and psychological functions relating to vision and the mind. Their new installation of paintings and sculpture poetically dissect the physical processes of vision, therein presenting the anatomical magic that goes into shaping emotion and identity. Surrounding the installation are selections of Durden’s paintings that primarily feature the artist in moments of reverie and introspection in their daily life.

In addition to their studio practice, Durden is known for their large-scale murals throughout Detroit. As part of this project, Cranbrook Art Museum has partnered with the Ruth Ellis Center, a non-profit that creates a supportive community and provides trauma-informed services for LGBTQ+ youth and young adults of color. In collaboration with the organization, Durden will create a permanent mural for the new Ruth Ellis Clairmount Center in Detroit.

Bakpak Durden: The Eye of Horus is the inaugural show of Cranbrook Art Museum’s Fresh Paint series, which highlights new work from Detroit-based artists. 

Bakpak Durden: The Eye of Horus is organized by Cranbrook Art Museum and curated by Kat Goffnett, Assistant Curator of Collections, and Laura Mott, Chief Curator at Cranbrook Art Museum. This exhibition is generously supported by the George Francoeur Art Museum Exhibition Fund and the Gilbert Family Foundation, with additional assistance from the Ruth Ellis Center and Playground Detroit.