Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Select Art Exhibitions: Highlights for 2012

This begins the ninth year that the Black Art Project has presented on a national scale art exhibitions of artists of African descent. This post will simply highlight a few of those exhibitions that will have an opening date during the first quarter of 2012. Quarterly posts will follow, featuring subsequent exhibitions, as they approach their opening dates. These quarterly posts will assure a freshness and currency of information for the exhibition aficionado. Because this post is simply a highlight, look to the right sidebar of the blog for a more comprehensive feature of exhibitions in 2012. This sidebar is updated on a weekly basis by either adding newly discovered exhibitions or removing those that are closely approaching their expiration date.  

A number of important traveling exhibitions from the previous year are still on tour in 2012. Although they are not featured in these highlights, they are accessible from the sidebar. 

Black Art Project (BAP) welcomes any information or leads that you might have relating to Black art exhibitions, particularly regional exhibitions that are not traditionally marketed on a national scale. BAP will verify the accuracy of any information submitted. Thank you for any assistance that you provide.

Atlanta, Georgia

Bill Traylor, Untitled, ca 1939 - 1942,
Poster paint and pencil on cardboard,
11¾" x 7¾", High Museum of Art, Purchase
with funds from Mrs. Lindsay Hopkins, Jr.,
Edith G. and Philip Rhodes,
and the Members Guild

This traveling exhibition, Bill Traylor: Drawings from the Collections of the High Museum of Art and the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, premieres at the High Museum of Art on February 5, 2012 and will be on view through May 13, 2012. The exhibition, featuring more than 60 works drawn from both collections, highlights some of the best examples of Traylor's work that is rarely seen outside of the southeastern United States. Bill Traylor "features representative works from Traylor's various genres, including human and animal figures and depictions of his memories of plantation life."

William Traylor was born into slavery sometime between 1852 and 1856, and he died in 1949. The artist began drawing when he was eighty-five years old, and produced more than 1,200 drawings within the next decade of his life. Traylor’s work has been represented in at least 30 solo exhibitions and 85 group shows since the late 1970s.  

Chapel Hill, North Carolina
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Thornton Dial: Thoughts on Paper is on view March 30 - July 1, 2012 at the Ackland Art Museum. Thornton Dial's drawings are his most prolific body of work, and this exhibition features 50 of his earliest drawings from 1990-1991 which is defined as a pivotal moment in his artistic career. "The works in the exhibition - characterized by flowing lines, color washes, and images of women, fish, and tigers - provide a touchstone of Dial's creative process."

Thornton Dial is most recognized for his large scale, multi-media assemblages, as was reflected in two recent exhibitions: Thornton Dial: Disaster Areas (Bill Lowe Gallery, 2011) and Hard Truths: The Art of Thornton Dial (Indianapolis Museum of Art, 2011). This current exhibition, at the Ackland Museum of Art, provides an opportunity for the viewer to explore the drawings, which are a lesser known but important portion of Dial's oeuvre.

A fully-illustrated catalogue accompanies Thornton Dial: Thoughts on Paper.

Charlotte, North Carolina
African-American Arts and Culture

James Phillips, jitterbug Waltz Series: CT,
Acrylic on paper, 30" x 40"

Rhythm-A-Ning: James Phillips, Charles Searles and Frank Smith is on view through June 30, 2012 at the Harvey B. Gantt Center. Works by the three artists featured in this exhibition "visually reflect the qualities and characteristics of jazz. Each artist - in his own way - has improvised with color , rhythm, patterns, and forms to abstractly produce work which can soar and challenge...."

  Montgomery, Alabama

Mose Tolliver (Mose T), Model T with creature,
Acrylic on plywood

Paintings by Mose Tolliver will be on view through March 4, 2012 at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts. This exhibition includes a selection of the twenty-six paintings from the 1970s to the 1990s that are owned by the Museum. 

Mose Tolliver, who is usually referred to Mose T, was one of Montgomery’s most prolific and best-known self-taught artists.  "The subjects of Tolliver’s paintings were largely established by the early 1980s, and included first birds, then animals, people, and fantastic creatures that were products of his vivid imagination.  Unable to stand without crutches due to an industrial accident in the 1960s, he usually painted small works that could be supported on his lap, or laid flat on the floor."

Newark, Delaware
University of Delaware
University Museums

Barkley L. Hendricks, Iconic Dexter,
2008/9, Archival pigment inkjet, 60" x 42",
Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery,
New York
Magical Visions: Ten Contemporary African American Artists is on view February 1 - June 29, 2012 in Mechanical Hall at the University of Delaware / University Museums. This exhibition brings together the work "of artists who have pioneered significant changes in media, including assemblage, fiber, painting, photography, printmaking, quiltmaking, and sculpture to video with performance." The following artists are included in Magical Visions...: Terry Adkins, Sonya Clark, Melvin Edwards, Sam Gilliam, Barkley L. Hendricks, Kalup Linzy, Odili Odata, Karen Olivier, Faith Ringgold, and Williams T. Williams. 

There will be an opening reception with Guest Curator Keith Morrison on Wednesday, February 15, 2012 from 5 – 6:30 pm. Please RSVP at universitymuseums@udel.edu or 302/ 831-8037. 

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA)
Samuel M. V. Hamilton Building

Henry Ossawa Tanner: Modern Spirit is on view January 28 - April 15, 2012 in the Samuel M. V. Hamilton Building, Fisher Brooks Gallery at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. This much anticipated and long awaited exhibition will elevate Tanner's reputation through scholarship and bring his works together for the first time in a generation.

Henry Ossawa Tanner, The Seine, Looking
Toward Notre Dame, 1896, Oil on canvas,
14 7/8" x 20 1/8", Courtesy of Michael Rosenfeld
Gallery, LLC, New York, NY
Henry Ossawa Tanner... focuses on the career and life of the artist that includes "the pioneering African-American artist’s upbringing in Philadelphia in the years after the Civil War; the artist’s success as an American expatriate artist at the highest levels of the international art world at the turn of the 20th century; Tanner’s role as a leader of an artist’s colony in rural France and his unique contributions in aid of American servicemen to the Red Cross efforts in WWI France; his modernist invigoration of religious painting deeply rooted in his own faith; Tanner’s depictions of the Holy Land and North Africa interpreted through comparison with contemporary French orientalist painting and photography; and the scientific and technical innovations of the artist’s oeuvre."

A catalogue accompanies this traveling exhibition. See gallery images and letters from the PAFA Archives; and Henry Ossawa Papers at the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution: Archives

For information regarding the reception and ticket(s) to view the exhibition, see: event

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
Samuel M. V. Hamilton Building

After Henry Tanner: African American Artists since 1940 is on view January 28 - April 15, 2012. This exhibition is a permanent collection installation drawn from PAFA's examples of work by African American artists. After Henry Tanner complements the Tanner retrospective and speaks to Tanner's enduring legacy for artists working today. 

NOTE:  Take a look at the right sidebar of the BAP blog for a more comprehensive listing of exhibitions in 2012; over 60 exhibitions are currently featured. Enjoy!

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