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First Impressions: Whitfield Lovell
Arthur Roger Gallery, New Orleans, LA
August 1 - September 19, 2015

Included in this exhibition are the celebrated, bold assemblages of charcoal drawings on vintage wood paired with multivalent objects collectively illuminating the African American experience. Also exhibited, for the first time, are Lovell's lithograph prints – exquisitely detailed visages on wood veneer, vellum and vintage wallpaper flecked with floral and decorative patterns.

Lovell’s work is inspired by his fascination with history as well as stories told by his grandparents. His portraits are referenced from his large archive of photos of unidentified African Americans from the early twentieth century – including passport pictures and mug shots. He states, “The importance of home, family, ancestry feeds my work entirely. African Americans generally were not aware of who their ancestors were, since slaves were sold from plantation to plantation and families were split up.” The men and women featured in Lovell’s work, although with faces often weighted with strife, reveal consummate strength and determination.

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