Faith Ringgold Wallops the Body Politic With Smashing Survey at Miami Art Museum
|Big Black, 1967|
Best known as the foremother of the African American story quilt revival that blossomed in the 1970s, the artist is professor emeritus at the University of California. The life-long activist, artist, and writer is celebrating her 80th birthday with "American People, Black Light: Faith Ringgold's Paintings of the 1960's," at the Miami Art Museum (MAM), an exhibit featuring 60 works capturing one of our nation's most turbulent eras.
Ringgold's blockbuster show opens with a preview reception this Saturday night and includes a special performance by Miami Soul crooner, Bobby Stringer in partnership with the Overtown Music Project.
|American People #20: Die, 1967|
For her gesture of solidarity, Ringgold was consequently convicted for violating the Flag Protection Act of 1968. During the period Ringgold told an interviewer, "It would be impossible for me to picture the American flag just as a flag, as if that is the whole story. I need to communicate my relationship with this flag based on my experience as a black woman in America." You can see Ringgold speaking about political art here.
|American People #18: The Flag is Bleeding, 1976|
The exhibition also marks MAM director Thom Collins' curatorial debut in South Florida and is the museum's featured Art Basel showcase.
"It is incongruous that the art of a period defined by the Civil Rights movement and the Vietnam War, the woman's movement and the first-wave feminism, has become defined by the rather sterile movements of pop art and minimalism, movements that generally fail to connect with the social and political circumstances of the time," observes Collins.
"Faith Ringgold's work offers not only clear insight into that important moment in the history of our country, but also insight into what it meant to be an African American woman making her way as an artist at the time" Collins concludes.
"American People, Black Light: Faith Ringgold's Paintings of the 1960s," at the Miami Art Museum (101 West Flagler Street, Miami) through January 1, 2012. Tickets for the Preview Reception/Performance cost $20. Museum hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Call 305-375-3000 or visit miamiartmuseum.org.
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