About This Exhibition

Considered one of the foremost abstract artists of the 20th and 21st century, Sam Gilliam and his protégé, Kevin Cole, will take you on an artistic journey from an expressionistic place to one of abstraction. Gilliam is internationally recognized as the foremost contemporary African-American color field painter and lyrical abstractionist. Cole works in a range of mediums and uses repetitive forms and color to create three dimensional structures that invite viewers to reflect upon abstracted references to objects such as a necktie which could represent status, beauty, fashion and the destruction of human life.

Exhibiting for the first time together, Protégé is a snapshot of the creative relationship between these powerful visual artists. The legendary Sam Gilliam has mentored Kevin Cole for the last fifteen years. This exhibition examines the work of Cole in light of Gilliam's guidance.Together their work celebrates history, survival and a personal memory of time and place. Future generations may view the art of Gilliam and Cole as "sites of memory" - objects that exist physically in the present while encompassing deeds and memories of the past. Their work finds itself in the realm of public recognition that author Ralph Ellison called "the groove of history."

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Image credits: Jacob's Ladder - Compassion, Kevin Cole