ARTISTS OF COLOR
The F Word: We Mean Female!
Jaune Quick-To-See Smith
An enrolled member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Nation Tribes as well as being of Métis and Shoshone descent, Jaune Quick-To-See Smith identifies as both an artist and a political activist. Her prints bring together European American and indigenous cultural symbols. She often reflects on Native American resilience despite colonization and focuses on strengths including wisdom, nature, humor and, most of all, the role of community as reflected in the two-headed figure dwarfing the commercial slogans on the top and bottom of the artwork.
Loïs Mailou Jones
While she was influenced by the Harlem Renaissance and was also an art professor at Howard University, it was Lois Mailou Jones’ marriage to a Haitian artist and her time in Haiti in the 1950s and 60s that inspired the colors and themes of this piece. The bright colors and patterns of Haitian art and fabrics are represented throughout the work. The snake-like form on the left of the painting, as well as the title of the piece reference the voodoo loa, a serpent figure known for creating the cosmos and ruling the mind and spirit. Jones’ interest in Pan African culture continued throughout her life, and she served as the United Nations Information Agency cultural ambassador to 11 African nations in the 1970s.
Artist Hung Liu was sent to the Chinese countryside to be “reeducated” during the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s. This involved her working in the fields alongside farmers instead of pursuing her graduate art career at a university. After receiving her “proletariat reeducation” in the People’s Republic of China, Hung Liu immigrated to the U.S. and began making work inspired by the four years she spent in the villages. In this work, the central portrait comes from an archive of photographs from before the Cultural Revolution. Liu found this image within a book of images of young women, each with a floral pseudonym, a book which she believes was used to sell these women from poor homes as prostitutes to male clients. Liu has created several works utilizing these women’s photos and calls the series ‘Wildflower,’ referencing both the pseudonyms and the resiliency of wildflowers in nature.
Robert S. Duncanson
Of African American and Scotch Canadian descent, Duncanson was light skinned and often passed as white. Colorism, as well as his choice to paint landscapes (popular at that time), allowed him greater access to exhibitions and sales and made him one of the most successful African American painters of his day.
Using old black and white photographs of anonymous sitters, Whitfield Lovell pays tribute to his African American ancestors. Lovell found a picture of the woman in this artwork at a flea market. The objects in the jars on the shelf below, such as coins from the year Dr. King was assassinated and locks of black hair, are signifiers of events in the artist’s life and of cultural experiences shared by many African Americans.
Knoxville native Joseph Delaney was a part of the Great Migration, settling in New York with his brother, fellow artist Beauford Delaney. Joe Delaney became best known for urban scenes that celebrate the landmarks and liveliness of the city as embodied by his signature figures, such as those on the dock in the lower right portion of the painting.
A Korean-born woman who has spent most of her adult life in Georgia, Jiha Moon showcases a navigation through these identities in her artwork. Moon integrates generalized Asian symbols, such as fortune cookies, with materials specific to her Korean heritage, such as the Hanji mulberry paper that is the foundation for this piece. She also incorporates the symbol of a peach, which serves both as a reference to the Korean symbol of fortune and to the Georgia peach of her home. The blond locks, exotic for a Korean woman, reference U.S. beauty standards.
ADDITIONAL WORKS ON VIEW
Boy’s Head, undated, bronze, 10 1/4 x 7 1/4 x 8 1/2 in.
Floor 2 Sun Porch
Untitled (I Am Somebody), 1990, On loan from Art Bridges
Francis Luis Mora
An Out of Town Trolley, 1961, oil on canvas, 52 x 72 in.
William H. Clark
Sad, Sad Snow, 2000, oil on canvas, 23 ½ x 43 in.
The 1920s…The Migrants Cast Their Ballots (from the Kent Bicentennial Portfolio: Spirit of Independence), 1974, silkscreen, 31 ¾ x 24 ¼ in.
The Dancer, 1933, lithograph, 18 ½ x 14 in.
Gallery 16 (upper floor)
Spatial Interactions Aerographic Forms and Catilevered Confluence, 1990-91, welded bronze, dimensions vary
West Wing, Lobby
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