Another Tradition: Drawings by Black Artists from the American South at The Morgan Library & Museum, September 24, 2021 – January 16, 2022
“In the last three decades, exhibitions and publications have established the rightful place of figures such as Dial and the quilters of Gee’s Bend, Alabama, in the canon of twentieth-century art. The focus has often been on the impressive works of assemblage—whether of found objects or fabric—that have emerged from the Southern United States. Artists only one or two generations removed from slavery, and subjected to the abuses of Jim Crow, developed ingenious formal techniques using found materials and skills learned outside the classroom and studio. Many, like Dial, Rowe, and Holley, exhibited their creations at their homes in elaborate ‘yard shows,’ drawing the attention of passersby and art-world figures alike.
Another Tradition focuses on the genre of drawing, which, like assemblage, is an art of ‘making do.’ Its accessibility and directness have always appealed to both artists and their audiences. While some works in the exhibition were produced on traditional artist’s papers, others incorporate the unique qualities of found supports. The range of media includes watercolor, ballpoint pen, crayon, and even glitter. But the impact of these works ultimately transcends their innovative means. Although each of the eight artists represented speaks with a distinctive voice, the intimate space of the Morgan’s Thaw Gallery illuminates formal and thematic connections that arise from their shared geographies and experiences.” — The Morgan Library & Museum
“The acquisition of eleven works from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation in 2018 profoundly enriched our collection of modern and contemporary drawings,” said exhibition curator Rachel Federman, the Morgan’s Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Drawings. “Black artists from the South have contributed tremendously to the visual culture of the United States with extraordinary quilts and assemblage sculptures, but also, as this exhibition makes clear, in the realm of drawing.”