Ebony broadsides: celebration of the masters
Hampton Art Lovers Presents:
“Ebony Broadsides, Celebration of the Masters”
at the Historic Ward Rooming House
294 NW 9th Street, Miami, FL 33136
April 17th – June 1st, 2019
Hampton Art Lovers Presents: “Ebony Broadsides, Celebration of the Masters”, a poster art exhibition featuring original signed exhibition posters of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jacob Lawrence, Faith Ringgold, Betye Saar, John Biggers, Lois Malou Jones, Gordon Parks, Roy DeCarava, Oliver Johnson and Ed Clark. The show also includes original signed poster art of Elizabeth Catlett, Romare Beardon, Samella Lewis, James Denmark and Basil Watson. With special artist proof and studies of poster art by Ernie Barnes and A.C. Hollingsworth. Sponsored by the Southeast Overtown/Park West CRA, Work of Art Gallery Framing and All Art Custom Framing at the Historic Ward Rooming House in Historic Overtown (Miami, Florida). April 17th – June 1st.
Ebony Broadsides is first of its kind, to our knowledge, to feature exhibition posters of African-American artists as original pieces of art themselves (approved and signed by the artists). Fine Art exhibition posters are advertisements that incorporate an artists’ image, painting, or design with exhibition dates, text or gallery information. They promote the art, artist and the gallery or museum. Produced by renown institutions, often in tight collaboration with the artists they advertise, executed by well-established printers and published in limited editions, they represent an original way of admiring fine art. Exhibition posters are often made in editions of a few hundred, yet grow ever rarer as people don’t realize their value.
Ebony Broadsides, Celebration of the Masters focuses on Black artists whose efforts in the twentieth century demonstrate their command of mainstream traditions of racial pride started by the “New Negro” movement of the 1920’s which produced an exciting collection of African-American art. Many—Jacob Lawrence, Lois Mailou Jones and Romare Bearden—responded in the 1930s and 1940s to Alain Locke's call for an art of the “New Negro” and explored the social and narrative aspects of African or African American sources. Contemporary artists—from Betye Saar and Faith Ringgold to Basquiat—drew inspiration from the biographies of their family members and rituals of Black people as a whole. Portraits and documentary images have dominated the subject matter of modern Black photographers who have chosen the people and environment of their own neighborhoods as their subjects. Black photographers, foremost among them Roy DeCarava and Gordon Parks, have sought out communities or traditions of the larger African American society. Our exhibition includes examples of all of these artists' signed solo exhibition posters.
Some exhibition posters feature a unique artwork, which was exclusively produced for a particular exhibition held at the most well established galleries in the world, and therefore is not available in any other format. We see that with Faith Ringgold's masterpiece “Tar Beach” (in our exhibition) which was featured in her 1988 exhibition at Bernice Steinbaum's gallery in New York. Tar Beach was purchased by the Guggenheim at that time and has not been shown in New York since, although it is the most requested Guggenheim owned piece for loan. Coincidentally, Bernice Steinbaum is a gallerist and curator who founded the Bernice Steinbaum Gallery in New York City in 1977. Steinbaum showed the work of women artists, feminist artists, civil-rights artists and artists of color at a time when they were under-represented and undervalued in the art world. In 2000, she moved the gallery to Miami, Florida becoming the first commercial gallery in Wynwood.
For the novice in Black art, Ebony Broadsides is a great introduction to the Masters, we seek to reintroduce the genius of the artists through a medium familiar to wider audiences. Posters are part of everyday life and are more likely to be displayed in homes or work spaces than they are more formal works of art. Before the proliferation of television and film, the poster held the most political power of all visual media. It was simple to produce, able to be displayed anywhere the public could view it, and had an immediate and intimate influence on audiences. In the 16th century, posters, then known as “broadsides” (also a naval term for cannon-fire launched from one side of a ship) were used to issue governmental notifications and commercial announcements printed and placed on walls, they could also be a political statement or opinion on a sheet printed to be nailed up in the village square or distributed hand to hand.
The 2nd floor of the exhibition will showcase the impact poster art has influenced hip hop, politics and by extension, pop culture. As well as the fine art of Phillip Shung and Marvin Weeks.
Exhibition Times: Wednesday to Saturday from 1:00pm – 7:00pm
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