More Studio Museum

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“Seeds and Roots,” a show from the collection at the Studio Museum in Harlem, proved as interesting as the new work upstairs (see previous post). Some of the images and work downstairs were familiar to me, some not, but so many pieces were thought-provoking and just plain great to look at (right, a photo by Samuel Fosso of himself wearing rubber work gloves).

Along side the black-out graphite Quentin Morrises and sculpture from Alison Saar were pieces from Beauford Delaney and Horace Pippin. (By the way, Morris has a solo show coming up at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts Dec. 11 to Feb. 13.)

My favorite painting in the show was “Trees of Life” by Benny Andrews, a landscape in which the tree canopies were in part peachy rear ends amidst the greenery.

There was a lot of work I was glad to see again, like “Venus Baartman” by Tracey Rose (shown left), a photo suggesting Eve in the Garden of Eden, and referring to Sara Baartman, or the Hottentot Venus, a woman taken from South Africa, and then exhibited as a freak across Britain in the 1800s.

I was also glad to see again Glenn Ligon’s “Stranger in the Village” (right), an accusation written in black coal dust glued on a blackened canvas.

The show included work from people of African descent in Europe, Africa and the Americas and was intended to show the range of the museum’s collection. It succeeded also in showing its quality. This show, too, is worth a visit.

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features & interviews, more studio museum, reviews

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