Monday, May 30, 2011

Select Art Exhibitions: Highlights for Coming Months

This post simply highlights a few of the current and upcoming African American art exhibitions that have been planned for the next coming months. Although it is not comprehensive in scope, it does present the quality, depth, and diversity of exhibitions that are on the scene. For a more comprehensive national view of exhibitions on view, see the right sidebar, Select Art Exhibitions in 2011; that list includes over 30 exhibitions with an African American focus. Bear in mind that the exhibitions listed in the right sidebar are updated on a regular basis by either removing those that have ended or adding new ones as they are identified. As a follower, you are invited to recommend exhibitions that you are aware of that are not included on either of these lists.

Atlanta, Georgia  
Auburn Avenue Research Library on
African American Culture and History (AARL)

Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History (AARL) is a special library of the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System. AARL presents Charting the Course: African American Achievers in the 20th Century, a photographic exhibit featuring the work of donor and photographer, Raymond Wilson.  Mr. Wilson is a Washington, DC native and retired military officer who donated his collection to AARL. His clients have included the following: National Association for Equal Opportunity in Education, National Urban League, Congressional Black Caucus, and the Executive Leadership Council.   

Charting the Course is on view through June 24, 2011 at the Cary-McPheeters Gallery of AARL. An opening event is scheduled for Saturday, May 21, 2011 (4:00 - 6:00 pm) and will include a conversation between Raymond Wilson; Sheila Turner, curator of the exhibition; and guest photographers, Doris Derby and Jim Alexander. The Library is located at 101 Auburn Avenue; for additional information call AARL at 404/ 730-4001, ext. 100 or see events.

Baltimore, Maryland
Galerie Myrtis: Contemporary Fine Art Gallery

Abstraction: The Syncopation of Light, Color and Form, an exhibition, is on view at Galerie Myrtis through August 13, 2011. Drawing from their intuitions and imaginations, the six artists featured in Abstraction "form rhythmic patterns employing light and color to explore social issues, and the metaphysical and spiritual realm." For related activities and to view works form the six artists featured in the exhibition, visit the Gallery.

Jeffrey Kent, HeLa #34 Progression,
Acrylic on canvas
Jeffrey Kent, one of the featured artists, states "the idea for his series of paintings was sparked by the history of Henrietta Lacks and her cells, now known as HeLa cells. I was drawn to this story because of the parallel between her cells and the legacy of artists: just as HeLa cells have lived outside their original source for so long, artwork lives on long after the artist’s death." 

Chicago, Illinois
Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

Mark Bradford, Scorched Earth, 2006
Collection of Dennis and Debra Scholl,
Photo: Bruce M. White

The exhibition, Mark Bradfordwill be on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) Chicago through September 18, 2011. Organized by the Wexner Center for the Arts, The Ohio State University, "This exhibition is the first survey of the artist's work to date. Spanning the years 2001 to 2010, it examines Bradford's work in all media, beginning with early sculptural projects, and culminating in a number of new commissions."

Admission is free for MCA members; there is a $20.00 fee for nonmembers. For further information and related programs, visit: MCA. A catalogue accompanies this exhibition. 

Greensboro, North Carolina
Weatherspoon Art Museum
Kara Walker, Savant, 2010, Etching
 with aquatint, sugar-lift, spit-bite
and dry-point, 27" x 17"

Weatherspoon Art Museum presents Race and Representation: The African American Presence in American Art in its Gregory D. Ivy Gallery on August 20 - November 20, 2011. To express its theme, artworks in Race and Representation have been drawn from the Weatherspoon’s permanent collection, and they represent different media and time periods. The featured artwork "will explore and affirm the fundamental interconnection of the African American presence in American visual culture."

The exhibition is organized around the recent acquisition of two works by eminent, contemporary artists Kara Walker and Leonardo Drew. "In the contrasting languages of figuration and abstraction, both artists speak to an understanding of the world forged by an African American identity and heritage. Complementing Walker’s An Unpeopled Land in Unchartered Waters (2010, edition 5/30) and Drew’s Number 119D (2009) is a range of works from the museum’s permanent collection that provides a broad cultural landscape within which to gauge Walker and Drew’s achievements."

For further information, call336/ 334-5770 or visit Weatherspoon.

New York, New York
June Kelly Gallery

James Little: Ex Pluribus Unum, an exhibition of new abstract paintings, consisting of "large, horizontal canvases covered with narrow vertical bands in a variety of geometric configurations and in unusual but harmonious combinations of brilliant color" will be on view at June Kelly Gallery through June 21, 2011. 

James Little, Difference between Then and Now,
2010, Oil and wax on canvas, 72" x 94"
Mario Naves, the art writer, has written an essay in the exhibition's invitation. To read excerpts from that essay and to view more images, see: Ex Pluribus Unum

June Kelly Gallery is located at 166 Mercer Street (between Houston and Prince Streets). For further information, call 212/ 226-1660 or visit the Gallery.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Sande Webster Gallery

Anthony Liggins, Purple Haze, Mixed media on canvas,
36" x 36", 2011

Sande Webster Gallery currently has two exhibitions, Anthony Liggins: While We Sleep the Sky Dances in the Main Gallery and Alonzo Davis: It's About the Climb in the Salon Gallery, on view through June 25, 2011.

Anthony Liggins' journey "continues to take people on a visual expression through art. I love to captivate, motivate, and inspire others. One transcends through a spiritual oasis in time through color, technique, and stimulating visuals." To read more, see Liggins  

The works featured by Alonzo Davis are from two series, Passageways and Sky Ladders. The following description of each series is in the words of the artist.
The Passageways series grew out of Davis' fascination by the "carved doors of the Dogon people of Mali." According to the artist, "My doors...are painted and embellished with fetishes or found objects rather than carved. Each door is framed with lengths of bamboo."

Sky Ladders represent the artist's "goal-oriented approach to life," and first appeared in a scroll-like painting he did in 1984. Over time, Davis learned that "the ladder had symbolic significance in Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, India, Oceania, and pre-Columbia. It can represent transcendence, union between heaven and earth, and ancestral reunion." 

For additional information, visit the Gallery

Roseville, California
22 South Grant Street Gallery
Milton 510 Bowens,
Afro-classical series (John Coltrane),
Mixed media

22 South Grant Street Gallery presents Milton 510 Bowens: The Time Harlem Came to Roseville from June 4 - 30, 2011. This solo, contemporary fine art exhibition will feature new original paintings from Bowens' "Afro-classical volume 3 collection." In addition to the visual arts, this exhibition will highlight poetry and music. 

Accompanying programs follow: 
  • Special Collector's Champagne Reception with the artist on June 4, 2011 from 6:00 - 9:00 pm.  
  • Gallery grand opening reception celebration with live bee-bop and swing music, featuring live poetry recitals on June 11, 2011.
  • Artist Talk featuring Milton Bowens: "Harlem's Influence and Impact on the Arts" on June 18, 2011. A special silent auction will be held during this event.
For more information, contact Kevin L. Santos-Coy at 916/ 613-4244 or via email at

Washington, DC
International Visions Gallery

International Visions Gallery presents Preston Sampson: Common Threads from June 9 - July 23, 2011. Sampson describes Common Threads as “a body of work that is about the universal dialogue of relationships, strength, dignity and aspirations of people to live, love and learn.” Central to this exhibit is selections from the ongoing Working Man series, which gives homage to the “blue collar hard working man who is the underpinning of all of our effete cosmopolitan yearnings.”

Preston Sampson,
Working Man 1, Mixed media,
24" x 36" 
Drawing inspiration from past work, Sampson explores new techniques of mixed media compositions with textiles and pulp painting. “My time working alongside a quilter on a project prompted me to more aggressively dig into textiles and patterns. My love of portraiture ...evolved into merging textiles with them to create the Working Man series, which finds itself a continuation of thematic constant in my work.”

For additional information, contact Tim Davis at 202/ 234-5112. Visit International Visions at the Gallery.

1 comment:

  1. terrific show, love the use of fabrics and color