Published: Jun 25, 2009
Whitfield Lovell, Servilis, 2006, Conté on wood, pedestals, stuffed bird replicas,116 ¼ x 116 ¾ x 46”.
ATLANTA - Renowned artist Whitfield Lovell's latest exhibition and first solo show in the Southeast since 2003, "Mercy, Patience and Destiny: The Women of Whitfield Lovell's Tableaux," is on display at the ACA Gallery of SCAD, 1280 Peachtree St., Woodruff Arts Center, Atlanta, Ga., July 9-Aug. 23. A conversation between Lovell and Carrie Mae Weems, the award-winning photographer, visual artist and social activist, will take place at the Woodruff Art Center's Rich Auditorium, located adjacent to the gallery, Thursday, July 30, 5-6 p.m. Immediately following the talk, the opening reception for Lovell's exhibition will follow in the gallery. The events are free and open to the public.
For over a decade, Whitfield Lovell has created assemblages, or tableaux, that evoke the memory and heritage of African American lives once lived. Drawn with charcoal on found wallboards and combined with artifacts, Lovell incorporates figurative imagery from early portrait studio photographs in works that offer poetic insight into the African American experience in the early 20th century.
Melissa Messina, senior curator at SCAD, notes: "This exhibition offers a rare opportunity to highlight a specific aspect of Whitfield Lovell's overall artistic production, that of his compelling portrayals of women. In homage to the spirit in which the African American women of this time organized collectively in the name of domestic and civic change, this exhibition brings together a tableaux-and, thus, the lives of these women-through which we can contextualize and celebrate their under-recognized achievements."
Born and raised in the Bronx, N.Y., Lovell, who holds a bachelor of fine arts degree, is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships that include a MacArthur Fellowship and a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship. He has been an artist-in-residence at the Contemporary Art Center of Virginia, Duke University, University of North Texas, and the Andy Warhol Museum. His installations have traveled to the Seattle Art Museum, the Studio Museum in Harlem, and the San Antonio Museum of Art, to name a few. Recent group exhibitions in which Lovell's work has been featured have traveled to the New York Historical Society, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
Benjamin Genocchio in the New York Times writes, "Lovell's assemblages look at the hidden, private world of African Americans. They provide an unexpectedly intimate view of people from a bygone era, a view that exposes biases and limitations of standard histories and inspires new historical perceptions."
This is the first exhibition that solely showcases Lovell's portrayal of African American women at a time when their efforts were a driving force for change in domestic and civic life. Lovell says, "I'm interested in honoring the lives of people whose existence went unnoticed." The exhibition is co-produced by SCAD and the National Black Arts Festival.
About the National Black Arts Festival
The National Black Arts Festival (NBAF), a non-profit cultural institution based in Atlanta, Georgia, celebrates the contributions of people of African descent and their impact on world cultures.
The mission of NBAF is to engage, cultivate and educate diverse audiences about the arts and culture of the African Diaspora and provide opportunities for artistic and creative expression.