“The cultural contributions of women and women of color are still underrepresented in the art world, and we are still asked to contextualize our practice in ways that other privileged artists simply are not.” — Shinique Smith*
“I have recently been exploring the idea of doing my work in secret. I was inspired by discovering the work of The United Order of Tents. They are a secret society of black nurses. They have supported each other and done good works since the Civil War. The Mother Emmanuel Church met in secret for 35 years, while black churches were banned in South Carolina after the Nat Turner rebellion.
“I don’t really have time to explain my work to people who feel that I have an identity and they don’t. I don’t have time to unpack all that. I’m focused on using black feminist theory or any other tools that can help me sharpen my knife, and make better work.” — Simone Leigh*
POWER: WORK BY AFRICAN-AMERICAN WOMEN FROM THE NINETEENTH CENTURY TO NOW, a survey of over 60 works by 37 artists—including Ellen Gallagher, Sister Gertrude Morgan, Betye Saar, Ntozake Shange, Mickalene Thomas, Kara Walker, and Carrie Mae Weems—is now on view at Sprüth Magers, Los Angeles.
The exhibition, curated by Todd Levin, also includes a selection of images from the Ralph DeLuca Collection of African American Vernacular Photography.
POWER: WORK BY AFRICAN-AMERICAN WOMEN FROM THE NINETEENTH CENTURY TO NOW, through June 10.
SPRÜTH MAGERS, 5900 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles.
*Artists’ quotes from Power, the booklet published on the occasion of the exhibition:
ALSO SEE: theguardian.com/artanddesign/2017/apr/05/kara-walker-karon-davis-power-black-female-artists
The participating artists: Beverly Buchanan, Elizabeth Catlett, Sonya Clark, Renee Cox, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Karon Davis, Minnie Evans, Nona Faustine, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Ellen Gallagher, Leslie Hewitt, Clementine Hunter, Steffani Jemison, Jennie C. Jones, Simone Leigh, Julie Mehretu, Sister Gertrude Morgan, Senga Nengudi, Lorraine O’Grady, Sondra Perry, Howardena Pindell, Faith Ringgold, Betye Saar, Joyce J. Scott, Emmer Sewell, Ntozake Shange, Xaviera Simmons, Lorna Simpson, Shinique Smith, Renee Stout, Mickalene Thomas, Alma Woodsey Thomas, Rosie Lee Tompkins, Kara Walker, Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller, Carrie Mae Weems, and Brenna Youngblood.
Shinique Smith, Bale Variant No. 0023 (Totem), 2014
Clothing, fabric, accesories, ribbon, rope, and wood
243.8 x 50.8 x 50.8 cm
96 x 20 x 20 inches
Image credit: Shinique Smith and Sprüth Magers