Archive | November, 2012

The Clothesline Muse by NNENNA FREELON, KARIAMU WELSH and MAYA FREELON ASANTE

30 Nov

clothesline muse

MATCHING FUNDS AVAILABLE!

VISIT THIS LINK TO DONATE: http://www.usaprojects.org/project/the_clothesline_muse

VISIT HERE to

Artists2Artists Fund

Donations are currently being matched 1 to 1 by Artists2Artists Fund.

I am working on an exciting collaborative project called The Clothesline Muse: an evening length theatrical production with choreographer, Kariamu Welsh, and visual artist Maya Freelon Asante. As the “Muse” or storyteller I will tell stories that center around the clothesline; I will also compose the music, which will be performed live on stage. Kariamu Welsh choreographsmovements that are pedestrian and vernacular and projects a movement motif that reverberates with memory and rhythms. Crafting the bodies of six-dancers, Kariamu will lead the story through movement. The set will comprise of “tissue paper art” created by artist Maya Freelon Asante. Maya uses vibrant tissue paper as a visual metaphor to represent “the wash” on the line, bringing light and color to the stage through larger-than-life tissue sculptures. As the “Muse” character, I call our attention to the clothesline as I “hang” songs and stories of hope, loss and celebration out on the line for all to see. I’ve created original music and new arrangements of old classics from the blues influenced “Miss Mary Mack” to the bubbling groove of “Clean White Sheets”. Fusing dance, art and music onstage will be an experience not to be missed!

The community will be involved in our project through interactive art exhibitions that will accompany each performance, as well as music and dance workshops, which will be open to the public. A clothesline will be hung in the lobby at every venue. Audience members will be instructed to write a memory on a piece a paper and hang it on the line. The writing and hanging of memories will be recorded and will appear in that evening’s performance, so that audience members can have their “say”.

Over the past year we have collectively developed and funded the storyboard and script, started rehearsals, created original music, choreography and art. The premier of The Clothesline Muse will be at The Painted Bride in Philadelphia in 2013. We have also secured venues in Baltimore, MD and Durham, NC and envision The Clothesline Musetraveling around the world. We are asking for your help to bring this beautiful and important work from conception to reality. Reaching our fundraising goal will allow us to continue the work we’ve already funded thus far.

Funds raised will allow for the following: an Interactive Website, a Video/Editor for performance projections, a Costume Designer and Costumes, a Lightning Designer, Rehearsal fees, Set fabrication and design, Music and Recording fees, a Percussionist fee and Travel.

Thanks for being a part of this journey and for helping to make The Clothesline Muse a reality for ourselves, our ancestors and for our children!

And a BIG thanks to everyone who’s helped over the last year!

– Kariamu & Company- Temple University- The Painted Bride – The Hayti Heritage Center – The Brandywine Workshop – Reginald F. Lewis Museum- Ekua Holmes- Cici Stevens- Pierce Freelon – MK Asante- Phil Freelon- Beverly Botsford- John Brown- Roxana Walker-Canton- NaOme Rich- Tina Morton -Alan Mercer- Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library- Les Rivera- Michael Bowles

$6,791
Donated of $20,000 Goal.
12 Days Remaining
This project will only be funded if at least $20,000 is donated by Wed. Dec 12, 11:59pm.

Donate as little as $1, or get exclusive perks for your support…

Receive a link to download new original music from The Clothesline Muse soundtrack!
We will send you digital love on our FB page!
$100

25/15 Remain
We will send you a clothespin signed by Nnenna Freelon, Kariamu Welsh and Maya Freelon Asante
$300

5/4 Remain
We will send you two tickets to the premiere of The Clothesline Muse at the Painted Bride in Philadelphia
$500

5/3 Remain
You will receive original artwork from the set of The Clothesline Muse, created by Maya Freelon Asante
$1,000

10/10 Remain
Attend a dance class led by Kariamu Welsh in Philadelphia
$1,000

5/5 Remain
Vocal consultation by Nnenna Freelon via Skype (30 minutes)
6X GRAMMY Award-nominee Nnenna Freelon, world-renowned choreographer Kariamu Welsh and award-winning visual artist Maya Freelon Asante.

MFA artists “Meet and Greet” at AQUA Art Miami 2012

27 Nov

Please visit us at MFA’s large booth at swanky AQUA!

AQUA Art Miami
Suite 216
1530 Collins Ave
Miami Beach, FL 33139
 
Artist “Meet and Greets” in our booth include: 
Maya Freelon Asante, Boom, 53”x35”, tissue ink monoprint

Maya Freelon Asante, Boom, 53”x35”, tissue ink monoprint

 
MAYA FREELON ASANTE on Friday, 7 December from 3:30pm-5pm.
 
Kesha Bruce, Wrestling with Angels No. 15, mixed media on paper, 12.5"x9.5"

Kesha Bruce, Wrestling with Angels No. 15, mixed media on paper, 12.5″x9.5″

 KESHA BRUCE on Saturday, 8 December from 7pm-9pm.
Don’t miss the opportunity to connect with these two exceptional female artists in person in Miami Beach!

MAYA FREELON ASANTE in Artforum

24 Nov

“Material Girls: Contemporary Black Women Artists”

SPELMAN COLLEGE MUSEUM OF FINE ART
350 Spelman Lane SW,
September 6–December 1

Sonya Clark, Seven Layer Tangle, 2005,plastic combs, glue, 7 x 30 x 30”.

Maren Hassinger’s Love, 2005–12, in the far corner of the gallery, displays inflated hot pink plastic shopping bags gathered in the shape of an obtuse triangle rising up to the ceiling. It is impossible to see Love and not think of the collective progress made by the gay rights movement that has used this symbol of a pink triangle since the 1970s, as well the individual acts that went into shaping the movement. The allegorical use of materials continues in Sonya Clark’sPlain Weave, 2008—a simple, elegant grid of gold-colored thread and black plastic combs held together in the royal kente cloth pattern––elevating throwaway objects by using them to represent this coveted textile.

Such are two instances of the ways in which Chakaia BookerMaya Freelon AsanteMartha Jackson JarvisJoyce J. Scott, and Renée Stout, in addition to Hassinger and Clark—challenge the social and cultural identities of objects, blurring the boundary between natural and industrial materials. Take, for instance, Booker’s contribution: masses of recycled rubber tires––some sliced into strandlike lengths, others cut to sharp, pointed, staccato shapes––elegantly manipulated into long sculptural tableaux or smaller, compact works that allude to organic material and figuration. Whereas irrefutable power, speed, and performance dominate the commercially driven affect of automobile tires, Booker’s use of these discarded, visibly worn wheels––in tandem with her subsequent manipulation in composing her sculptures––speaks to a range of experience by showing the tangible effects of the environment on the objects. It is in this way that “Material Girls” spurs a consideration of the desire for newness in commodity objects and stakes a claim for finding value in the materiality that marks our experience, in spite of its monetary equivalent.

— Amanda Parmer

MFA artists on display at African American Museum Dallas

20 Nov

Here are a few shots of works by Jules Arthur, Kesha Bruce, and Mario Andres Robinson currently displayed in an exhibition at the African American Museum in Dallas, Texas!

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Universal price increase on work by ROSEMARY FEIT COVEY beginning January 2013

13 Nov
Rosemary Feit Covey, "Fish", 40"x36", mixed media on canvas

Rosemary Feit Covey, “Fish”, 40″x36″, mixed media on canvas

 

This price adjustment is long overdue and is in recognition of Rosemary’s artistic accomplishments throughout her career. Her work is housed in over forty major museum and library collections worldwide, including the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the New York Public Library Print Collection, the National Museum of American History, Harvard University and the Papyrus Institute in Cairo, Egypt. In 2012 more than 500 of her prints were acquired for the permanent collection of Georgetown University Library, Special Collections. In addition, Ms. Covey has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions, as well as completed commissioned book illustrations published by Simon & Schuster and William Morrow.

 

Here is a look at additional recent and noteworthy highlights of Rosemary Feit Covey:

 

Complete Collection Acquisition

Special Collections at Georgetown University Library Department of Prints and Drawing

512 wood engravings acquired, catalogued and made available to collectors and scholars

 

Solo Retrospective Exhibition – Museum

Exhibition- Retrospective Spring Summer 2014

Evergreen Museum John Hopkins University

http://www.museums.jhu.edu/evergreen

 

Solo Exhibition – Morton Fine Art

June 2012

Morton Fine Art

1781 Florida Ave NW

Washington, DC 20009

www.mortonfineart.com

 

Group Exhibitions – International

24th November 2012 – 20th January 2013:

75th Annual Exhibition of the Society of Wood Engravers

Victoria Art Gallery

By Pulteney Bridge

Bath BA2 4AT

 

29th January 2013 – 10th February 2013:

75th Annual Exhibition of the Society of Wood Engravers

Bankside Gallery next to the Tate Modern

48 Hopton Street

London SE1 9JH

 

Studio Visit

Berlin Collective

Sunday, December 9th 2012

www.berlincollective.de

 

Residency

Spiro Arts 2012 artist in Residence

Park City, Utah

 

Morton Fine Art hopes to provide our collectors with adequate fair warning of the upcoming across-the-board price increase for the work of Rosemary Feit Covey. Again, no changes will be implemented until 2013, so please contact the gallery if you have pieces of interest and we are more than happy to provide current and upcoming pricing details. We are so proud of Rosemary’s accomplishments!

 

Rosemary Feit Covey, Johannesburg 1958, wood engraving

Rosemary Feit Covey, Johannesburg 1958, wood engraving

REVEALING THE AFRICAN PRESENCE IN RENAISSANCE EUROPE – NY Times review of the Walters’ show

12 Nov
Be sure to catch Morton Fine Art & Galerie Myrtis’ “Contemporary Response” exhibition when in Baltimore. The NY Times wrote this glowing review on “Revealing the African Presence in Renaissance Europe” currently on view at the Walters Museum. This exhibition runs in Baltimore through mid January at 2013 and then moves to Princeton University for its FINAL run (minus the precious Durer drawing in the Walter’s presentation of the show). BOTH shows are MUST SEES. Please support our contemporary voices – its worth the trip!
‘African Presence in Renaissance Europe,’ at Walters Museum – NYTimes.com

A Spectrum From Slaves to Saints

Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid ,“The Three Mulattoes of Esmereldas” (1599) is one of the works in “Revealing the African Presence in Renaissance Europe,” at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore.

By

Published: November 8, 2012

BALTIMORE — In a fall art season distinguished, so far, largely by a bland, no-brainer diet served up by Manhattan’s major museums, you have to hit the road for grittier fare. And the Walters Art Museum here is not too far to go to find it in a high-fiber, convention-rattling show with the unglamorous title of “Revealing the African Presence in Renaissance Europe.”

Visually the exhibition is a gift, with marvelous things by artists familiar and revered — Dürer, Rubens, Veronese — along with images most of us never knew existed. Together they map a history of art, politics and race that scholars have begun to pay attention to — notably through “The Image of the Black in Western Art,” a multivolume book project edited by David Bindman and Henry Louis Gates Jr. — but that few museums have addressed in full-dress style.

Like the best scholarship, the Walters show, organized by Joaneath Spicer, the museum’s curator of Renaissance and Baroque art, is as much about questions as answers, and makes no bones about that. Many wall labels begin with an interrogative, suggesting that a museum visitor’s reading of a particular image carries as much weight as the curator’s.

And, like most ambitious but risky undertakings, it has flaws. There is evidence of budget limitations. Although no corners were cut in getting crucial European loans, the catalog — a good one — has come in a third smaller in size than planned and with signs of changes-at-the-last-minute production.

The presence of a chatty “resource center” midway through the show, with gamelike audience-participation activities on offer, will rile museum purists. (I have no problem with it.) And, in a show that tackles the issue of race head-on, the line between an objective view of the past taken on its own terms and interpretation of it in light of the present can sometimes feel precariously drawn.

But in the end none of this matters. The show is so interesting to look at and so fresh with historical news as to override reservations. It does what few museum shows ever do: It takes a prized piece of art history, one polished to a glow by generations of attention, and turns it in an unexpected direction, so it catches the searching, scouring rays of new investigative light.

Europe’s ties to Africa were ancient but sporadic. Particularly strong bonds were forged during the heyday of the Roman Empire. And in the 15th and 16th centuries, the period covered by the Walters show, they were renewed. True, as early the eighth century a pocket of intercontinental culture had sprung up in Muslim-occupied southern Spain. But it wasn’t until that occupation was coming to a close that a broader exchange began.

By the mid-1400s an expansionist Europe was hungry for new materials and markets, and a globally minded Roman Catholic Church sought new members. Well before Vasco da Gama first sailed around Africa, Portuguese merchants had opened trading depots along its west coast. And enterprising Africans were coming to Europe.

In 1484 a Congolese delegation visited Lisbon on a diplomatic mission, and Ethiopian Christian pilgrims were establishing permanent communities in Rome.

Superficially Africa and Europe had embarked on an age of cosmopolitan rapport, an idea promoted in art. It was during this period that the convention was introduced of including a black African as one of the three foreign kings in images of the Adoration of the Magi. A beautiful early-16th-century Flemish example and one with, exceptionally, two black figures, tenderly particularized, opens the Walters show on a utopian note, with a vision of multicultural harmony.

In reality harmony was rarely associated with Africa in the European mind. Known primarily secondhand from sensationalizing ancient texts, the African continent was often depicted in the Renaissance as a place of freakish beasts and bestial, violence-prone, naturally subject peoples. The attitude found its place in Renaissance decorative objects like oil lamps and door pulls cast in the shape of African heads, and in paintings that routinely included dark-skinned figures as servants or slaves.

Slavery had a long institutional history in Europe, and for centuries most slaves were white, from the eastern Mediterranean and Russia. The source changed with the beginnings of an African slave trade in Europe in the mid-1400s. And the complexion of European art, subtly but surely, changed with it.

 

We find a hint of this in a minutely detailed late-16th-century painting of a city square in Lisbon bustling with black- and white-skinned figures from across the social spectrum. We find it again in an exquisite drawing by Dürer of a demure 20-year-old black woman named Katharina, a slave in the household of a Portuguese patron the artist visited in Antwerp in 1521. And we find it once more in a fragmentary painting by Annibale Carracci. The original picture seems to have been a portrait of an aristocratic woman accompanied by her female slave. But only the likeness of the slave survives, and her face, with its simmering, level-eyed gaze, is unforgettable.

Being a domestic slave in urban Europe was not necessarily a lifelong condition. (The situation was very different on New World plantations.) Slaves could be freed by owners and take up independent professions. The two black men, one young, one older, in a pair of fleet chalk drawings from around 1580 by Paolo Veronese might have worked as his assistants or apprentices, much as the former slave and mixed-race painter Juan de Pareja did in Velázquez’s studio in Madrid.

De Pareja went on to have a painting career of his own, though he is largely remembered as the subject of one of Velázquez’s most magnificent portraits. But in general the names of black sitters in Renaissance paintings — and, no doubt, of black artists — are lost.

Who is, or was, the slightly stunned-looking man wearing drop earrings, a gold chain and pearl-encrusted cap in “Portrait of a Wealthy African,” by an unknown 16th-century German or Flemish artist? Or the regal-looking personage, head swathed in a milk-white turban, in an oil sketch whipped up on a sheet of repurposed accounting paper by Peter Paul Rubens?

Rubens’s sitter is so attractive, we’d love to know his story. And we’d especially love to know the story — the true, gossip-free story — behind the sitter in an Agnolo Bronzino portrait whose name has survived. He’s Alessandro de’ Medici, who ruled Florence for seven years before being assassinated in 1537, and who is thought by historians to have been the illegitimate child of a pope-to-be, Clement VII, and a black or biracial woman.

Alessandro’s dark skin was remarked on by contemporaries, who nicknamed him Il Moro (the Moor), a generic term for African in 16th-century Italy. In Bronzino’s painting the subject’s complexion is inconclusively ruddy. But another portrait, this one of the ruler’s young daughter Giulia, has been cited by some scholars, who point to the child’s black facial features, as confirmation of Alessandro’s ethnic heritage.

Together these portraits probably attest to the reality of African DNA flowing through Medici blood, and through the very center of the European High Renaissance. But they are at least as interesting for the reactions they have provoked. Until recently art history has ignored, denied or at best tiptoed around their racial content, just as it has skimmed over the black presence in Europe as a whole. The Walters exhibition not only asserts that presence, but positions it as a contributing factor to a crucial moment in the forming of European cultural identity.

By the early 17th century that moment seemed to have passed. Europe’s attention turned to the Americas and to Asia. Africa became what it had started out being for Europe: a supply center for natural resources and cheap labor. Old attitudes of fear and disdain toward Africa — still the dominant view in the West — returned and hardened.

So: Renaissance followed by regression is the show’s bottom-line theme. Or is it? One of the saving graces of art — what keeps you coming back to it — is that it isn’t a bottom-line business. You think you’ve come to an end, a conclusion, and there’s always more: the exception, the extension. And so it is in this case: African Europe lived on, in new places, and in new guises.

Toward the end of the show, in a 1599 painting called “The Three Mulattoes of Esmereldas,” we see three dark-skinned men in European court attire but also wearing large gold nose ornaments and holding spears. The painting, now in the Prado, was done in Spanish colonial Ecuador. It depicts a father and his two sons, descendants of African plantation slaves and New World natives, who were leaders of an Afro-Indian community. In this painting, commissioned from an Ecuadorean artist as a gift to Philip III of Spain, they present to Europe as what they are: related, different, equal.

African Europe also continued to flourish on home turf in, among other places, popular religion. The exhibition’s final image is a resplendent 18th-century carved wood sculpture of a Roman Catholic saint, Benedict of Palermo (1526-89), who was born into a family of African slaves in Sicily, led an exemplary life as a Franciscan monk there, and was canonized in 1807.

This saint is sometimes referred to as Benedict the Moor or Benedict the African, and in the sculpture his racial identity is emphatically conveyed: his grave face and extended hand are a rich ebony black, their darkness framed and amplified by the brilliant gilding of his robe.

By the time this sculpture was carved around 1734, Benedict had long since attracted an ardent following, in Europe, in the colonial Americas and in Africa. Today he’s the official patron saint of African-America, with churches in his honor from Bahia to the Bronx. And images of him, no matter how stylistically varied, continue to combine traces of Renaissance Europe and of Africa. In him the two are inseparable, are one.

2D/3D : An Exhibition of 2D / 3D work by MAYA FREELON ASANTE & VICTORIA SHAHEEN

3 Nov

November 9th, 2012 – December 4th, 2012

OPENING RECEPTION

Friday, November 9th from 6pm-8pm