The strength of the 2011 Festival, as it relates to the visual arts, rested on a vast array of black focused exhibitions that were featured in and around Atlanta. The venues included museums, private and commercial galleries, and institutional galleries. This post will simply highlight four of those exhibitions.
The Souls Grown Deep Foundation and the Bill Lowe Gallery present Thornton Dial: Disaster Areas - "an epic look at destruction and regenerative forces of nature and how they impact our lives." The exhibition is a tribute to survivorship and the resiliency of the human spirit.
|Thornton Dial, Jesus Christ in the Coal Mine, |
2008, Mixed media on canvas, 105" x 76" x 8"
As mentioned in the Gallery overview statement for the exhibition, "the inevitable visual imprints left by these images are re-worked by Dial into compositions that tell the more complex stories of individual lives affected, the unequal hardships that the poor are forced to endure, and the role of the artist as documentarian."
|Thornton Dial, Disaster Area, 2011, |
Mixed media on canvas, 72" x 92" x 8"
|Thornton Dial, Louisiana, 2011, |
Mixed media on panel, 72" x 74" x 6"
|Thornton Dial, Japan, Mixed media on canvas, |
108" x 79" x 9"
Radcliffe Bailey: Memory as Medicine
|Radcliffe Bailey, Windward Coast, 2009-2011,|
Piano keys, plaster bust, and glitter,
Dimensions vary, Courtesy of
Jack Shainman Gallery, New York
Radcliffe Bailey: Memory as Medicine, which is the most comprehensive exhibition of art by Bailey to date, is organized by the High Museum of Art, and is on view through September 11, 2011. The exhibition includes 37 works, ranging from intimate scale to heroic, that represent an array of media: installations, paintings, sculptures, mixed media, photos, and works on paper.
Memory as Medicine is organized around three underlying themes: Water, Blues, and Blood. "Water invokes the Black Atlantic Passage as a site of historical trauma as it highlights the fluidity of culture and traces Bailey's own artistic and spiritual journey. Blues includes works that point to the importance of music as a transcendent art form. Blood focuses on ideas related to ancestry, race, memory, struggle, and sacrifice."
A brief explanation on the High Museum's Website speaks to the meaning behind Windward Coast (image above.) See HIGHLIGHT
Although I missed the artist talk, I was able to attend an enlightening and informative lecture by the curator, Carol Thompson. Listen to Carol and Radcliffe in this video which is the first of a four-part series that will be released throughout the run of the exhibition. A catalogue accompanies this exhibition.
Both artists will be featured in an Artists Talk on Sunday, August 28, 2011, 4 - 6 pm. View the online catalogue. For further information, call: 770/ 977-2732 or visit Avisca Gallery.