Curated by Leandra-Juliet Kelley, Collections + Exhibitions Manager, Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture
Visions: A Study of Form examines African Americans of the 20th century and their explorations of natural and abstract forms through various media. The techniques employed by these artists demonstrate not only their mastery, but their approaches to capturing and illustrating sentiments, societal perspectives, and quotidian moments. The exhibition brings together over 30 works from the 1930s through the 1980s, representing artistic styles, such as abstraction and figurative art. From Paul Keene’s delicate sketches and Romare Bearden's layered depictions of Black life to colorful, emotive scenes by Ralph Chessé. Visions analyses the forms within these works – the silhouettes, patterns, range of hues, and brush strokes – to reveal the motives and inspirations that lie beneath. African-American artists utilized a range of media to depict the shifting shapes and ideals of society, encapsulating their personal stories and preserving these visions for future reflection.
Artwork credits: Robert Blackburn, Color Symphony, 1960. Color Lithograph, Framed Dimensions: 28 1/2 x 34 1/2 inches. Courtesy of the Petrucci Family Foundation Collection of African American Art.