Monday, April 16, 2012

On the Road: "Successions" - Prints by African-American Artists @ The David C. Driskell Center , UMCP

The Last Bar-B-Que by Margo Humphrey

On the road in the Washington, DC area last week, visited the David C. Driskell Center at the University of Maryland, College Park,  where "Successions: Prints by African-American Artists from the Jean and Robert Steele Collection continues on display through June 22, 2012. Among other works by Romare Bearden, Faith Ringgold, Calvin Burnett, Allison Saar and Bettye Saar, the above work completely caught my eye. A bright and provocative exhibit to catch on the rolling University of Maryland - College Park campus if you are in the Washington, DC area.

From the Driskell Center website: "The Last Bar-B-Que is one of the most well-known lithographs of master printmaker Margo Humphrey. It required nearly three years of thought, during which Humphrey looked at other representations of the Last Supper by artists from Lorenzetti to Emil Nolde and considered what tone the potential work should possess. In the final version, The Last Bar-B-Que embraces many sources and traditions to create a scene that is meaningful, humorous, and visually beautiful. Like traditional representations of the Last Supper, Christ is shown seated at a table, surrounded by his disciples. Humor can be found in the title and in the watermelon and chicken that join the traditional bread and wine; however, the title also indicates a shift from a European American perspective to an African American one. The apostles and Christ are African American, while the presence of the pyramid and bright patterns of the clothing and the overall composition suggest African influences. Humphrey commented, "The Last Bar-B-Que is a serious piece: a rewriting of history through the eyes of my ancestry, a portrayal of a savior who looks like my people." J. S.

For more information on "Successions" and the Driskell Center visit here

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