Centering on T.C. Cannon as narrator of the exhibition, and decentralizing my curatorial voice as the authority, was an intentional strategy I employed to activate Cannon’s Native perspective and to build empathy with the audience.
This special section of Panorama entitled “Riff: African American Artists and the European Canon” is an outgrowth of an Association for Critical Race Art History panel of the same name that took place at the annual meeting of the College Art Association in 2017. The five essays included in this section offer nuanced readings of artists spanning nearly a century, whose engagement with European art and artistic tradition vary from full-throated adulation to subtle and unspoken resonances.
This process of what I term a “re-membering” of history through Weems’s body and gaze indicts the landscape and the buildings that populate as key players in multiple histories.
Throughout his more than four-decade-long career in the arts, Brooker has created a distinctive artistic language that calls out to viewers to not only look at his work as arrangements of patterns, colors, and shapes on canvas or paper, but also as investigations into the divine.
In the context of the recent Confederate memorial debates, the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama, directly challenges the heroic narrative of the Confederacy as an honorable struggle and the idea that slavery was a benevolent institution.
At the heart of “American democracy” and “American freedom,” there is a shameful rot, which public monuments “labor” to paper over in order to present our struggles and conflicts as resolved and settled.
California Mexicana: Missions to Murals, 1820–1930
Curated by: Katherine Manthorne and Alberto Nulman Magidin
Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, CA, October 15, 2017- January 14, 2018
Myth and Mirage: Inland Southern California, Birthplace of the Spanish Colonial Revival
Curated by: Lindsey Rossi
Riverside Art Museum, CA, September 22, 2017-January 28, 2018
Found in Translation: Design in California and Mexico, 1915–1985
Curated by: Wendy Kaplan and Staci Steinberger
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, September 17, 2017-April 1, 2018
Reviewed by: Patrick Frank, independent author
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