Saturday, January 9, 2010

Thursday, January 7, 2010

On the Fence

Chattanoogans, check out this new opportunity. The City's Public Art Committee is seeking submissions for its On the Fence project. More information is here

'Place du Tertre' by Lois Mailou Jones

If you're going to risk some extreme connoisseurship -- looking and looking at the tiniest details in art -- you need to follow Rule 1 of the sport: Empty your bladder first, for concentration's sake. It was on my way out of the bathroom on the second floor of the old wing of the Phillips Collection that I noticed a work I'd never registered before. No wonder: The little painting, "Place du Tertre," looked like a retread of any number of impressionist views of Montmartre, deserving to be tucked away. Then I looked at the wall label, and was surprised to see the name of Lois Mailou Jones, a pioneering professor in the art department at Howard University who became famous for the black themes in her paintings. (She died in Washington in 1998, age 92.)

No blackness in this picture, I noted. Too early, I thought. The picture was made in 1938, when the 33-year-old Jones was in Paris learning modern painting, before she'd come of age as a black artist. I looked one last time, closer, to make sure that reading was correct, and did a double take.

Read the rest of the story here.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Searching for the Heart of Black Identity

The Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft, located at 715 West Main Street, is pleased to present Searching for the Heart of Black Identity from January 9 – April 10, 2010. From Hip-Hop music to contemporary literature, movies to cable television, the identity of Black America is often characterized by caricature and exaggeration. Searching for the Heart of Black Identity showcases the work of an amazing group of African-American artists from across America whose work explores this cultural conundrum. This provocative exhibition includes works in film, photography, textiles, sculpture, paintings and poetry. The opening reception will be held on Friday, January 8th from 5:00pm to 7:30pm.

Each participating artist embarks on their own quest to engage the world through the prism of his or her own personal family, social history and experience. The resulting work is a snapshot of what it means to be African American in contemporary society. Participating artists include: Amalia Amaki, Sanford Biggers, Milton Bowens, Michael Paul Britto, Sheila Pree Bright, Rogger Cummings, Detekh, Nikki Giovani, Nekisha Durrett, Christopher Harrison, Rodney Jackson, Lauren Kelley, Christina Marsh, Bradley McCallum & Jacqueline Tarry, Caiphus Moore, Fahamu Pecou, Jefferson Pinder, Bayeté Ross Smith, Duane Smith, Hank Willis Thomas, Mickalene Thomas, Frank X Walker, Kehinde Wiley and Deborah Willis.

Click here for more information.