Nina Chanel Abney is known for her narrative works densely filled with phrases, numbers and symbols, resulting in digitally inspired and topical commen- taries on the precariousness of the human condition. Hobson’s Choice is a powerful example of this and filled with her hallmark iconography. The title is a phrase that refers to a false choice between something or nothing—the genesis of the saying “take it or leave it.” The painting depicts an aggressive confrontation between two figures against a background of onlookers, stylized fires and short, suggestive words and symbols, offering topical commentary on recent events in this country.
Nina Chanel Abney, Hobson’s Choice, 2017. Acrylic and spray paint on canvas, 84 1⁄4 x 120 3⁄16 x 1 15⁄16 inches. Collection of the Nasher Museum. Museum purchase. Image courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York, New York. © Nina Chanel Abney.