Tag Archives: african american

Modern Art Monday Presents: Mrs. Jones and Family By Faith Ringgold

mrs jones and family photo by gail worley
All Photos By Gail

Like many feminist-aligned artists in the 1970s, Faith Ringgold embraced collaboration as a politically significant part of her practice. Ringgold’s primary collaborator was her own mother, the fashion designer and dress maker Willi Posey. Mrs. Jones and Family (1973, also known as Mrs. Jones, Andrew, Barbara, and Faith) was created with Posey, who designed and sewed garments for many of Ringgold‘s mask sculptures throughout the 1970s. Continue reading Modern Art Monday Presents: Mrs. Jones and Family By Faith Ringgold

Modern Art Monday Presents: Faith Ringgold, Postage Stamp Commemorating The Advent of Black Power

postage stamp commemorating the advent of black power photo by gail worley
Photo By Gail

American People, Faith Ringgold’s first exhibition outside Harlem, opened at Spectrum Gallery on 57th Street in December 1967. The exhibition featured her three murals, including U.S. Postage Stamp Commemorating The Advent of Black Power (1967). Despite Ringgold’s determination to exhibit her paintings throughout the mid-1960s, she initially met with little success. The white-owned commercial galleries on 57th Street were dismissive, and Spiral, identified affectionately as the “old men of Black art“ by the painter Vivian Brown, declined to admit her into the group. But following public displays of her work in Harlem in 1966 — including in a traveling caravan exhibition organized by Amiri Baraka “(then LeRoi Jones)  and Betty Blayton-Taylor for the Black Arts Repertory Theater — she was invited to join the cooperative Spectrum Gallery, where New York school abstraction was still prominent and every artist on the roster except Ringgold was white.

Continue reading Modern Art Monday Presents: Faith Ringgold, Postage Stamp Commemorating The Advent of Black Power

Five-Sided Television Set

jenn nkiru 5 sided tv photo by gail worley
Story and All Photos By Gail  Worley

When you think of the concept of Retrofuturism –an exploration of past visions of the future — this five-sided, console Television set might fit in perfectly.

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Modern Art Monday Presents: Alma W. Thomas, Wind Sunshine and Flowers

wind sunshine and flowers photo by gail worley
Photo By Gail

Alma W. Thomas derived her vibrant color palette and lyrical brush work from the shapes and movement of foliage, flowers, and other natural forms. The stripes of bright pigment in Wind, Sunshine and Flowers (1968) create an engrossing effect that recalls feelings of awe inspired by nature

For Thomas, the visual realm of natural phenomena offered a way to transcend the racial biases she experienced as a black painter and educator in the early to mid -20th century. In 1972 she wrote, “man’s highest aspirations come from nature. A world without color would seem dead. Color is life. Light is the mother of color. Light reveals to us the spirit and the living soul of the world through colors.”

Photographed in The Brooklyn Museum.

 

Modern Art Monday Presents: Norman Lewis, American Totem

norman lewis american totem photo by gail worley
Photo By Gail

American Totem (1960) is one of a series of black-and-white paintings that Norman Lewis made which explore the emotional and psychic impact of the civil rights movement. Lewis, one of the few Black artists associated with Abstract Expressionism, created a form  that evokes the infamous hooded Klansman, but the monolith is composed of a multitude of smaller forms resembling apparitions, skulls and masks.

Lewis’s work suggest that terror is both representable and abstract, conscious an unconscious, visible and hidden. The painting was made more than decade after Lewis’s first solo show at the Willard Gallery in New York in 1949, which had earned him considerable renown but neither the financial rewards nor exhibition opportunities if his peers.

Photographed in The Whitney Museum in NYC.