Thursday, December 22, 2016

The Color Line - Part 2

Last week, I presented a detailed overview of the Musée du quai Branly's exhibition, The Color Line.

Today, I'm featuring the women artists whose work is shown there.

They are:
  • Elizabeth Catlett
  • Barbara Chase-Riboud
  • Loïs Mailou Jones
  • Edmonia Lewis
  • Faith Ringgold
  • Betty Saar
  • Augusta Savage
  • Alma Thomas
  • Mickaline Thomas

Elizabeth Catlett has the greatest number of pieces in the show - 16 linocuts and two sculptures. Her 15-piece linocut series entitled I am the Negro Woman and her bronze sculpture entitled Woman Walking (Standing Woman) can be found in a dedicated room.

I am the Negro Woman series
Elizabeth Catlett (1915-2012)
1947 Linocut on paper
© Discover Paris!

Woman Walking (Standing Woman)
Elizabeth Catlett (1915-2012)
1987 Bronze
© Discover Paris!

These works are on loan from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia, PA.

Three sculptors – Edmonia Lewis, Augusta Savage, and Barbara Chase-Riboud – have works represented in the exhibition in various ways.

Edmonia Lewis' magnificent marble creation, Forever Free, is shown in a short, silent video clip from a television documentary entitled Noire est la Couleur (Black is the Color) that was produced by Arté France, Les Films d'Ici, and Bachibouzouk to coincide with the exhibition's run.

Frame of Forever Free segment of Noire est la Couleur
Sculpture by Edmonia Lewis (1844-1907)
1867 Marble
Howard University Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
© Discover Paris!

A small bronze reproduction of Augusta Savage's monumental sculpture Lift Every Voice and Sing (The Harp) can be seen, but not photographed, at the exhibition. Nearby are images from the April 1939 edition of The Crisis magazine that show Savage creating the sculpture and the work itself on the cover.

Image of Augusta Savage (1892-1962) working on The Harp
The Crisis - April 1939
Photo © Discover Paris!

Image of The Harp
Cover of The Crisis - April 1939
Photo © Discover Paris!

Savage created Lift Every Voice and Sing (The Harp) in plaster for the 1939 World's Fair in New York. It was destroyed after the fair closed.

Barbara Chase-Riboud's Malcolm X #13 stands regally in the "Black is Beautiful: Black Power, Black Muslims, Black Panthers" section of the exhibition.

Malcolm X #13
Barbara Chase-Riboud (1939-)
2008 Black bronze, silk, wool, linen, and synthetic fibers
Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, New York
© Discover Paris!

Elizabeth Catlett's sculpture, Homage to Black Women Poets, her linocut entitled Malcolm X Speaks for Us, and Betty Saar's mixed media work, Equality, are also found in this section.

Faith Ringgold, Alma Thomas, Mickalene Thomas, and Loïs Mailou Jones each have a single painting in the exhibition. I found Jones' Mob Victim (Meditation) to be the most compelling. You will find it in the "Lynching" section of the exhibition.

Mob Victim (Meditation)
Loïs Mailou Jones (1905-1998)
1944 Oil on canvas
Stella Jones Gallery, New Orleans, LA
© Discover Paris!

A 2010 article in the Washington Post gives a bit of background on this work, which was selected as one of the four to be included in The Color Line's "Please Do Touch" section for visually-impaired visitors.

The paintings by Alma Thomas (March on Washington), Faith Ringgold (The American Collection #1: We Came to America), and Mickalene Thomas (Origin of the Universe I), as well as the mixed media work entitled Black Crows in the White Section Only by Betty Saar are located in the "On the Way to "Civil Rights" and "Contemporaries and African-Americans" sections.

Fewer than 30 days remain to visit this exhibition - it closes on January 15, 2017. If you're in Paris, get over to the Musée du quai Branly and see it!

The Color Line

Musée du quai Branly Jacques Chirac
37, quai Branly
75007 Paris
Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Sunday - 11 AM to 7 PM; Thursday through Saturday - 11 AM to 9 PM. Closed Mondays.
Entry fee: 10€
Reduced fee: 7€


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