Whitfield Lovell: Passages focuses on African-American history and raises questions about identity, memory, and our country’s heritage. Lovell makes drawings inspired by photographs of unidentified African Americans taken between the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 and the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 60s. Executed on paper or salvaged wooden boards, the artist’s drawings are paired with found objects and often incorporated into stand-alone tableaux or larger multimedia installations.
In the immersive installation, Deep River (2013), recordings of lapping water accompany floor-to-ceiling video projections of the Tennessee River. Visitation: The Richmond Project (2001)—inspired by an African American neighborhood in Virginia in the 1860s—is a domestic interior displayed in a room built inside the gallery.
Passages examines the history and cultural memory of the African-American experience and invites guests to consider the physical passage of time, its effect on memory, and the reception of our collective history.