For its inaugural summer exhibition, the Ethelbert Cooper Gallery of African & African American Art presents THE WOVEN ARC, curated by Gallery Director Vera Ingrid Grant, with a special installation of legacy textiles and hats by David Adjaye.
The revolution will not be televised, nor is it over. This is the premise of Grant’s Woven Arc exhibition, an intriguing mix of historic African textile-pieces and decorative arts, juxtaposed with 18 works of contemporary African and African-American art. (And, in the spirit of inclusiveness, there are also several pieces by white artists who make work about the struggle for justice.)
Bursting with compressed energy, Yinka Shonibare’s 2010 sculpture “Food Faerie” is poised to take flight from its perch in the lobby of the Ethelbert Cooper Gallery of African & African American Art in Harvard Square. Its child-size, headless brown body is adorned with goose-feather wings and a meticulously crafted dress with matching bloomers. Rooster faces are visible within its folds of Dutch wax printed cotton, a material this British-Nigerian artist often uses as he explores the colonial influence on culture, including the Dutch slave trade and its imprint on “African” fabrics.
The Woven Arc, an exhibition at Harvard University’s Ethelbert Cooper Gallery of African and African American Art, demonstrates the important role that textiles have played in the history of art and continue to play in the contemporary art world. Director Vera Ingrid Grant’s curatorial statement describes the works on display as “an unusual selection of artworks not usually posed in conversation with each other.” What connects these works most compellingly is their engagement with the textile tradition–a tradition with strong roots in African art that extend to the contemporary art of the... Read more about Big Red and Shiny: 'THE WOVEN ARC: Art and Life Converge Through Textiles'
Walking into the gallery located off Brattle Square in Cambridge, a visitor immediately confronts a doll-like female figurine, but one that sports wings and is missing a head. Yinka Shonibare’s Food Faerie, adorned in brightly colored fabric and holding a pack of peaches on her back, seems poised for flight.
THE WOVEN ARC explored the visual dialogues between an unusual selection of artworks not usually posed in conversation with each other: figurative and abstract sculptures, paintings, prints, and textiles, along with mixed media and performance-based video. Three artworks from our permanent collection—a Yinka Shonibare Food Faerie, a Nick Cave Soundsuit, and a conceptual piece by Peter Sacks—inspired us to consider other artworks that vibrate and move with sumptuous surfaces, embedded texts, an overt and oblique presence of the black body, and our...