Hope Gangloff’s painting MacDowell Cheney Cabin in the Winter Super Moon, 2019, was shown at her 2019 solo exhibition at Susan Inglett Gallery in NYC. It is one of several created during her residency at MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire.
Wadsworth A. Jarrell’s Revolutionary (Angela Davis), 1971, spotted at Brooklyn Museum in 2020, is based off of a photograph of the activist. The colorful painting includes words from her speeches and actual bullet cartridges.
From the museum about the work-
Wadsworth Jarrell’s Revolutionary (Angela Davis) is one of the most recognized paintings associated with the Black Arts Movement, a cultural manifestation of the Black Power Movement. Artists of this movement sought to create uplifting images that called upon Black people to harness their collective power. The power of communal action is here expressed through a chromatic swirl of individual colors that coalesce into a unified image of the radical activist and intellectual Angela Davis. Davis’s militant clothing—complete with bullet cartridges—was modeled after the Revolutionary Suit designed by artist Jae Jarrell, Wadsworth’s wife. An icon of Black Power, Davis continues to lead the prison abolition movement today.
Jarrell, along with his wife, is part of the African American artist collective AFRICOBRA, formed in Chicago in 1968.
AFRICOBRA began very loosely in 1968 as an association of visual artists. We decided to commit our selves to the collective exploration, development, and perpetuation of an approach to image making which would reflect and project the moods, attitudes, and sensibilities of African Americans independent of the technical and aesthetic strictures of Euro-centric modalities. Jeff Donaldson, who spearheaded the movement,Wadsworth Jarrell, Jae Jarrell, Barbara Jones-Hogu, and myself, Gerald Williams opened the lid on what we called AFRICOBRA – African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists. It was an original name that came to identify our place within the broader context of Black art.
Our mission was to encapsulate the quintessential features of African-American consciousness and world view as reflected in real time 1968 terms. For months, beginning as early as 1967, we examined and talked about the forms of expression and images produced by previous generations of artists. We came to the realization that there was not the existence of a consistent, unequivocal, uniquely Black aesthetic in visual arts as there was in other disciplines, notably music and dance. Many of our contemporary artists, at the time, generally said that they “were artists who happened to be black”, or held the view that their work was expressing universal ideas or concepts that were not tied to such a narrow category as Black art. The notion of an intrinsically Black view point, expressed in characteristically “Black ways” was a relatively alien idea for the most part. That notion begged the question as to whether it was possible to create a style or approach to art that at its core could be identified as African-American or Black, notwithstanding the presence of Black imagery or subject matter. If imagery and subject matter were the sole criteria then the question was moot. One could conclude, thereby, that Winslow Homer or any number of artists produced Black art when they painted Black images. After numerous brain storming sessions where such topics were discussed, after test projects and critiques, the five of us mapped out the core principles that became the foundation of AFRICOBRA.
Black and part Black Birds in America: (Grackle, Cardinal & Rose-breasted Grosbeak), 2020, by Kerry James Marshall, was part of the group exhibition 20/20 at David Zwirner gallery in NYC in December of 2020. The painting is part of a series that explores black identity, his love of birding, and by the history and work of John James Audubon.
Below is an excerpt from a New York Times article about the work and its Audubon connection-
“There’s a disconnect between the house that’s built and the birds,” Mr. Marshall said of the crow and grackle. “It’s not designed for them, you know?” The scene considers, he said, “the pecking order.”
A casual bird enthusiast who has been fascinated by Audubon’s draughtsmanship since he was a child, Mr. Marshall has long put Black protagonists at the center of his complex, richly layered compositions. “Many Mansions” (1994), one of his large-scale depictions of housing projects, features three Black men gardening — and, not incidentally, there are two bluebirds holding up a banner, too. The pointed inclusion of Black figures is part of what he has called a “counter-archive” to the familiar, white-centered story of Western art.
For the new series, the images hinge on Audubon’s own racial heritage: Many people believe he was, as Mr. Marshall’s title suggests, “part Black” — born in what is now Haiti, as Jean Rabin, to a white, plantation-owning father and a Creole chambermaid who may have been of racially-mixed descent. But, the theory goes, he was able to pass as white.
From the press release-
“Everything is deceptive, only the mask never lies.”
—Pierre de Marivaux
On the surface, Wilson presents a group of paintings depicting an assortment of mirrored reflections, paintings, prints, photographs, and reproductions. These pictures within the paintings adorn a variety of provisional spaces; foyers, waiting areas, bedside tables, drawing rooms, and motels. Like his previous work, Wilson recasts images of interior spaces and set dressing found in the seemingly endless availability of streaming television and film. These repurposed screen grabs are then filtered through the historical lens of premodern tendencies in representation. This practice, an attempt at slowing the viewer down for reflection remains, yet here, Wilson doubles down by zooming in on the re-depiction of those quoted histories within his own pictures. This reframing literally and metaphorically rearranges the conditions with which one engages in that contemplation.
“To me, the recursive nature of these paintings is analogous to the infinite regress of thought and meaning—in the way that the definition of words require the use of other, yet to be defined, words to describe them, and so on. Painting is a way of re-contextualizing these strange loops and harnessing meaning indirectly. For example, to quote me speaking now in this context is altogether different than the previous paragraph, despite the fact that I wrote them both.”
He is currently showing work at JDJ gallery in Tribeca, for the group exhibition, Feels Like Home, running until 3/2/24.
This painting, Night Breeze, by Sarah Lee, was part of a group exhibition last year at 1969 Gallery in NYC. It seemed like a good choice to post in honor of tonight’s full moon, the last of 2023, known as the Cold Moon.
José Parlá’s majestic paintings, pictured above, are from his series CICLOS: Blooms of Mold. They are currently on view as part of the Brooklyn Museum exhibition, Brooklyn Abstraction: Four Artists, Four Walls. The other artists included are Maya Hayuk, Kennedy Yanko, and the late Leon Polk Smith.
From the museum about the work-
In his monumental compositions, José Parlá layers and scrapes paint to obscure, reveal, and abstract both text and narrative, creating landscapes with textured gestural skies interwoven with a unique code of writing to reveal a new horizon with a universal line. Parlá’s abstracted text visually recalls underground mycelium formations, complex and mysterious fungi communication networks he references that interconnect everything on earth through a web of life. The five newly created paintings on view draw upon his youth as a Cuban American in Miami in the 1980s, his world travels, his almost fatal battle with COVID-19 in 2021, and his survival and recovery.
While in a three-month-long coma after contracting the virus, Parlá experienced dreams that carried him through his healing process. While recovering in the hospital, he transformed these visions into acrylic on paper drawings and, once back in the studio, into these powerful, otherworldly paintings that evoke natural landscapes. Their distinct horizon lines and internal, precise, psychological geographies remind us of our shared humanity.
Blooms of Mold, this new body of large-scale paintings, was inspired by what the art historian Simon Schama, in describing the art of Dutch painter Rembrandt van Rijn, once called “blooms of mold,” which one encounters on decaying urban and natural landscapes.
Parlá chose the subtitle Ciclos (from the Greek Kúkos, meaning circle) to refer to the life cycle and the function of the mycelium. It connects to ecosystems, providing nutrients and information to trees, which, in turn, convert carbon dioxide into oxygen, providing critical support for the respiratory systems of humans and all other living beings. Without mycelium, there would be no life.
The exhibition will be on view until 7/28/24.
The image above is Boris Anisfeld’s Clouds over the Black Sea-Crimea, 1906, from Brooklyn Museum’s exhibition Monet to Morisot: The Real and Imagined in European Art which highlights European art from the 19th and early twentieth-century from their collection. The exhibition “focuses on a period of significant societal transformation, when artistic techniques, subject matter, and patronage underwent profound changes”.
About the painting from the museum-
Boris Anisfeld’s canvas presents a vertiginous view of the Black Sea from the top of the Ayu-Dag mountain in southern Ukraine. The viewer has the sensation of being placed in midair, looking down through billowing clouds at an expanse of blue water, in the midst of which is a small boat. Although the scene represents a vast space, the artist’s complex composition challenges the illusion of depth in traditional landscapes by flattening the elements-cloud, land, and horizon-onto a single plane.
This painting was included in the 1906 Salon d’Automne in Paris in the Russian galleries organized by the ballet impresario Sergei Diaghilev, for whom Anisfeld designed stage sets and costumes. After the 1917 Russian Revolution, the artist came to the United States, and within a year the Brooklyn Museum hosted his first American one-person exhibition.
This exhibition closes on 11/12/23.
He is currently showing his work at The Little House, located at 451 N. La Cienega Blvd. in Los Angeles, presented by Dries Van Noten.
From their press release-
On view will be a selection of recent work by Sam Falls which merges photography, painting, and installation which results in captivating pieces that invite viewers to explore the relationship between humans and the environment. The works in the exhibition offer a meditation on the sublime dichotomy of mortality, including ceramics combining fossilized images of nature and the human form, as well as found airbags from crashed cars that are embroidered with symbolic idioms on the transience of time and life quoted from ancient Greek and Roman sundials.
Falls’ artistic process explores the varying representations of nature and materials through the passage of time. Rain, sunlight, wind, and the gradual effects of weathering all contribute to the unique aesthetic of each piece, creating a dialogue between art and nature that captures the essence of life represented in time and space. By exposing his artwork to elements, he invites the environment to act as a collaborator in reinterpreting organic materials into new forms.
This exhibition will be on view until 9/30/23.