Edited by Michele Wije, Text by Cheryl Finley and Bridget R. Cooks
The most comprehensive survey to date of the contemporary artist Whitfield Lovell, whose poetic and intricately crafted tableaux and installations document and pay tribute to the history and cultural memory of the African American experience.
Whitfield Lovell: Passages accompanies a major traveling exhibition of the artist’s powerful Conté crayon drawings combined with objects to create assemblages and multisensory installations that focus on aspects of Black history, raising questions about identity, memory, and America’s collective heritage. Whitfield Lovell (b. 1959, Bronx), a 2007 MacArthur Foundation fellowship recipient and conceptual artist, creates exquisite drawings inspired by his own collection of vintage photographs of unidentified African Americans taken between the Emancipation Proclamation and the civil rights movement. He pairs his meticulously rendered drawings done on paper or salvaged wooden boards with found objects, creating enigmatic assemblages and stand-alone tableaux that are rich with symbolism and ambiguity and evoke personal memories, ancestral connections, and the collective American past.
This richly illustrated volume features essays by leading scholars that contextualize Lovell’s work through the exploration of compelling elements such as sound and card playing, contemplating memory as method. Exhibition Itinerary (exh is circulated by American Federation of Arts):
Boca Raton Museum of Art February 11–May 21, 2023
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts June 17–September 10, 2023
Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts October 13, 2023–January 14, 2024
Cincinnati Art Museum March 1–May 26, 2024
The Mint Museum, Charlotte, NC June 29–September 22, 2024
McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, TX October 26, 2024–January 19, 2025
About The Author
Michèle Wije is curator at the American Federation of Arts. Bridget Cooks is associate professor in the Departments of African American Studies and Art History, University of California, Irvine. Cheryl Finley is inaugural director of the Atlanta University Center Art History and Curatorial Studies Collective; a distinguished visiting professor at Spelman College; and associate professor of art history at Cornell University.