Whitfield Lovell: Passages is the most comprehensive exhibition to date of the contemporary artist’s masterful conté crayon drawings, assemblages and multi-sensory installations that focus on aspects of African American history while raising universal questions about identity, memory and America’s collective heritage. Lovell, a 2007 MacArthur Fellowship recipient and conceptual artist, creates exquisite drawings inspired by photographs of unidentified African Americans taken between the Emancipation Proclamation and the Civil Rights Movement. He pairs his drawings done on paper, or on salvaged wooden boards with found objects and incorporates the resulting assemblages into his installations, or presents them as enigmatic stand-alone tableaux that are rich with symbolism and ambiguity. The exhibition will bring together, for the first time, two of Lovell’s major installations, Deep River (2013) and Visitation: The Richmond Project (2001), with a selection of freestanding tableaux and works on paper from his acclaimed Kin series (2008–2011) and a new series of works titled, Card Pieces (2018-2022).
This exhibition is organized by the American Federation of Arts in collaboration with Whitfield Lovell. The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue.