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Fifty year Of African American Printmaking; Frebruary 13, 2004-March 13, 2004

From: Linda Zapczynski
Category: Exhibitions
Date: 22 February 2004


Fifty Years Of African American Printmaking A Group Exhibition

G.R. N'Namdi Gallery Detroit

A potpourri of contemporary art, masters such as Romare Bearden, Jacob Lawrence, Ed Clark, and Bob Blackburn are featured in this offering of 24 amazing participants.

Jacob Lawrence's work consists of serigraphs, silkscreen and screen prints, dating from 1990-97. His signature grey backgrounds and wild green and black grasses complement, a calm and a storm at once. A penchant for horses and riders in action add to the life, to the story

His earlier work of the 1970s are of angst, in the crucifixion of an elongated Christ, and in a conspiratorial group of gentlemen.

Romare Bearden is up front with the serigraph "Slave ship" of 1977, an interesting composition of African Americans and the Amsted, a silent portrait and a terrifying fight for life. The gray silhouette is a haunting cloud of no-ness, a ghost of the non-existant portrait of the African American in the time of the 1839 Mende rebellion. The mast is a cross, long and suffering.

Ed Clark's monoprint, "Baha Series" of 1989 is luminous in red and black, deepened to mystery with a deep blue through the center. Horizontal line is prominent dropping down on the sides to a painterly effect.

Howardena Pindell's "Hydra/Centaurs/Jupiter/Northern Hemisphere", acrylic, pen and ink on bark paper is a cross between science and black-and-white art, with star designations in white ink on a blue-black background. An earlier etching, "Antare, August 2001, Northern Hemisphere 2002" is softer, black arrows with white shading, pointing the way in various directions, upon a gray background.

Ibm Pori Pitts and M Saffiel Gardmer's series of monoprints vary in color and media. "Ancient Prayer.." is one of the series of prayers, with color reminiscent of the "magic color" pens, changing colors upon one another, brilliant.

G.R. N'Namdi is often a treasure of African American art, and this show exemplifies the quality.

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