Archibald Motley “Self-Portrait (Myself at Work)” 1933 Oil on canvas
Archibald Motley was an African-American storyteller through painting of twentieth-century American life. He studied at School of the Art Chicago in 1910s and specialized in portraiture and saw it “as a means of affirming racial respect and race pride.” He is noted for his contributions to the Harlem Renaissance. His night and crowd scenes show the jazz culture influence and vivid, urban black culture. His work addressed the complexity of modern life. The exhibition “Archibald Motley: Jazz Age Modernist” can be viewed at Whitney Museum of American Art through January 17, 2016.
Archibald Motley “Portrait of a Cultured Lady” 1948 Oil on canvas
Archibald Motley “Playground (Recess)” 1940 Oil on composition board
Archibald Motley “Barbecue” 1934 Oil on canvas
On Saturday, February 7th I attended the Family Opening for Venturing Out of the Heart of Darkness at the Henry B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts and Culture in Charlotte, NC. Focused on colonialism and its impact on black culture, the exhibit features 19 artists who are national and international representatives of the African diaspora. Some of the artists featured include Jason Patterson and Bethany Collins. Within the exhibit are a variety of mediums, such as sculpture, performance art, collage and digital media. Full of thought-provoking and inspiring artworks, it is a must-see for all that can attend.
My personal favorite was the collaboration between Heather Hart and André D. Singleton, which allowed for personal introspection and participation in an activated space in the galleries. Sharing my wish was a powerful and moving experience.
Open through June 26th the exhibit provides a breadth of work that allows you to examine the societal impact of colonialism on how black culture is viewed and defined.