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New work by Laylah Ali goes on view in Hallwalls

More than two decades ago, the Buffalo-born artist Laylah Ali had her first solo exhibition in Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center.

She would go on to wider acclaim in the art world, with critics and collectors alike drawn to her narrative-rich paintings and drawings that seem to reflect struggles over identity.

Ali, who has remained closely affiliated with Hallwalls since that show, is the subject of a new Hallwalls exhibition featuring work from her latest body of work, called "The Acephalous Series." Ali's new pieces, according to a release, introduce "a fraught community of figures, including those with minimal bodies, some who lack heads, or appear to be on an endless, determined trek."

Writing in The New York Times shortly after Ali came onto the scene in 2000, Holland Cotter praised the way she seemed to universalize the idea of social struggles through the potent scenes she creates: "Her light, precise, pictographic touch sharpens them nicely," he wrote. "They are like the killer scenarios of video games reprogrammed with a conscience."

Two books featuring Ali's paintings and drawings will accompany the exhibition.

"Laylah Ali: Painting and Drawings": Opens at 8 p.m. Nov. 10 in Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, 341 Delaware Ave., and runs through Dec. 22. Call 854-1694 or visit

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