Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Select Art Exhibitions: Highlights for Fall/Winter 2011

This post is part of a continuing series highlighting a few current and upcoming African American art exhibitions on view for the coming months. It is not a comprehensive feature, but does present an excellent overview of the depth, quality, and diversity of African American exhibitions that are on view around the country. For a more comprehensive list of exhibitions on view, see the right sidebar in this blog, featuring Select Art Exhibitions in 2011. This list currently includes over 40 exhibitions with an African American focus, and it is updated on a regular basis by either removing those exhibitions that have ended or adding new ones as they are identified.

As a follower or reader to this blog, you are invited to recommend exhibitions that you are aware of that are not included.

Charlotte, North Carolina
Mint Museum Uptown

Romare Bearden: Southern Recollections is on view through January 8, 2012. This exhibition celebrates the Charlotte born artist's centennial birth, and will include nearly 100 works of art, including collages, paintings, watercolors, and prints that span Bearden's career.

Romare Bearden, Carolina Morning,
Mixed media collage on board,
30" x 22", 1974. In Memory of Elaine Lebenbom
and Dr. Miriam Mansour. Photography Courtesy
Franklin Riehlman Art © Romare Bearden
Foundation/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

 The exhibition and subsequent national tour will underscore not only Bearden’s artistic mastery, particularly in the technique of collage, but also his development of narrative and thematic explorations of his native South.  Southern Recollections "examines how the South served as a source of inspiration throughout his career. This important theme has never before been explored in any previous exhibition or writings on the artist."

Read more about the exhibition and view additional images, at the Mint Museum.

There is a full schedule of exhibition programs, including gallery tours, performance of jazz compositions written by Bearden, lectures, prose and poetry readings, and classes. See public programs.

A fully-illustrated catalogue accompanies Southern Recollections 

College Park, Maryland
University of Maryland
The David C. Driskell Center

Creative Spirit: The Art of David C. Driskell features 60 works completed from the late 1950s - 2010, representing Driskell's transition through a multiplicity of media in his artwork. The exhibition opens on September 15, 2011 and will be on view through December 16, 2011.

               David C. Driskell, Woman with Flowers, 1972,
Oil and collage on canvas, 37.5" x 38.5". Courtesy of the
Artist and DC Moore Gallery, New York. Photography
by Greg Staley. © David C. Driskell, 2011.


Creative Spirit "reveals the totality of Driskell’s artistic practice, celebrating a life lived in the service of what he often refers to as his 'priestly calling.' The exhibition highlights and explores seminal themes: Americana, Africana, nature, self-portrait as memoir, celestial music, and the figure."

An opening reception is scheduled for September 15, 2011 from 5 - 7 pm. In addition, there will be a program that includes an hour long conversation between Professor Driskell and artist, Carrie Mae Weems. For more extensive information, visit the Press Release and Exhibition Checklist/Images sections at The Driskell Center. 

A catalogue accompanies this exhibition.

Culver City, California 
Roberts and Tilton Gallery

Betye Saar: Red Time is on view at Roberts and Tilton Gallery from September 10 through December 17, 2011. Red Time, which is a site-specific retrospective installation, is Betye Saar's first solo gallery show in Los Angeles since 1998, and her first with the Roberts and Tilton Gallery.

Red Time examines Saar's past, present and future with those three categories expressed as In the Beginning, Migration and Transformation and Beyond Memory. As stated in the Gallery release, "In the Beginning includes works from 1960-1970, exhibiting Saar’s interest in metaphysics, the occult and magic. These works incorporate Euro-centric concepts of palmistry, phrenology and astrology in addition to Afro-centric concepts of voodoo and shamanism."

"Migration and Transformation (1970- 2010) focuses on works of strong social and political content. Subjects such as the Diaspora, slavery, racism, revolution and feminism are explored in varying mixed media Assemblages.... Works from Migration and Transformation are combative— these works are Saar’s own forceful yet thoughtful counter attack on racism in America—past and present."

Beyond Memory, selection of recent work from 2010-2011, highlights Saar’s quest for a new creative expression through the reinterpretation of language, objects and materials." Read more.

Opening Reception: Saturday, September 10, 2011, 6 - 8 pm. Roberts and Tilton is located at 5801 Washington Boulevard; phone: 323/ 549-0223. More information at Roberts and Tilton.

Hartford, Connecticut
The Amistad Center for Art and Culture
at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art

The Amistad Center's exhibition, War Prizes: The Cultural Legacy of Slavery and the Civil War, "follows the Civil War's impact on performers, the arts, and humanities through the 20th century. Objects from The Amistad Center for Art and Culture's collection of 19th century prints, photographs, and ephemera will introduce slavery and the Civil War. The Amistad Center's documentation of the Lincoln presidency, Frederick Douglass-related objects, the Center's tintype and ambrotype series, and Harpers' Weekly newspapers will introduce the War and the reasons behind it.

Ellington, Waters, Koehler Arlen Mills Music,
Stormy Weather, 1933, Sheet music, The
Amistad Center for Art and Culture, Inc.;
Simpson Collection

The exhibition follows the trajectory of activists, religious leaders, entertainers, and others who committed themselves to tackling and transforming segregation, inaccurate depictions in popular culture, economic inequities and other difficult legacies of the Civil War.

A final section presents mid-late 20th century photographs and fine art emphasizing the relationship between art, celebrity, and the modern civil rights movement." Read a full overview of the exhibition from the Wadsworth Atheneum. 

War Prizes is on view from September 10, 2011 through February 2012.

Manassas, Virginia
Caton Merchant Family Gallery
Center for the Arts

Terry Dixon, Accusation diptych, Mixed media,
24" x 24" each
Terry Dixon: Re-Enslavement Revisited is on view at the Center for the Arts, September 8 through October 26, 2011. Dixon's research and subsequent body of work was inspired by Douglas Blackmon's Pulitzer Prize winning book, Slavery by Another Name, focusing on re-enslavement and segregation. The book sparked the creative genius of the artist as he undertook an aspect of historical documentation and interpreted it in the language of  visual art.

Terry Dixon, a native of Washington, DC and currently living in Chicago, Illinois, "presents a body of work depicting African-Americans being forced to work for free from 1865 to 1945. His work is created through abstract digital images with acrylics, oil pastels and inks." 

View select images from Re-enslavement.   Visit Center for the Arts.

Raleigh, North Carolina
North Carolina Museum of Art
North Carolina Gallery

Reflections: Portraits by Beverly McIver is the latest in a series of exhibitions dedicated to the art and artists of North Carolina. Reflections celebrates the last decade of McIver's work, and will be on view December 11, 2011 through June 24, 2012. 

McIver, a native of North Carolina, "is renowned for her expression-filled, emotive canvases that commemorate her life and the lives of those closest to her—in particular, her mother, Ethel, who passed away in 2004, and her sister, Renee, who is mentally disabled. The exhibition highlights these two subjects in McIver’s work, focusing solely on her self-portraits and on portraits of Renee and other family members." Read more about Reflections.

A catalogue accompanies this exhibition.

Washington, D C
Corcoran Gallery of Art and
College of Art + Design

Hank Willis Thomas: Strange Fruit is on view October 1, 2011 through January 16, 2012. This exhibition presents approximately 12 new photographs and video works by artist, Hank Willis Thomas. In this exhibition, Thomas "explores how the concepts of spectacle and display relate to notions of African-American identity."

Strange Fruit "examines two forms of spectacle – the historic culture of lynchings and the commodification that surrounds professional sports – and analyzes their impact on the presentation and the perception of the black body."

Strange Fruit is shown concurrently with the special traveling exhibition, 30 Americans, which highlights the work of 31 contemporary African American artists in the Rubell Family Collection.

30 Americans "consists of 75 works of art and includes painting, drawing, photography, video, sculpture, and mixed-media installations. The exhibition features both established and emerging artists and illustrates how a previous generation of African American artists has influenced the current generation."

30 Americans is on view through February 12, 2012.  See a full schedule of related programs, including lectures, workshops, and classes designed to enhance and expand upon the themes presented in 30 Americans. 

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