Artwork of Endurance, 1979–2018: Three Decades in Print at PAFA
Director of the Brodsky Center at PAFA, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
These artworks were made by artists mostly born in the first half of the 20th century whose enduring ideas and innovative creative strategies are now shaping the discourse and languages of younger American artists. These artists have reanimated the artistic genres of landscape and portraiture. They have transformed inherited formula into passionate visual expressions for the articulation of personal visceral experiences of resistance. They do this against the interrelated losses of a genuine self and an authentic connection to nature at the hand of centuries of colonialist economies and in the face of profound changes brought by globalization.
Narratives around African American, Native American, and Latinx histories and cultures, as well as stories of the feminine nature and feminist ferment explore notions of biography conveyed through figurative but also abstract representation.
Pastoral themes share critical perspectives on environmental exploitation, territory reappropriation, and emigration through political borders, along with lyrical meditations on the significance of nature’s pervasive inspiration.
Installed in atemporal thematic clusters across the sweeping walls of PAFA’s Annenberg Gallery, these works demand “picture time” to enter these artworks of provocative echoes, metaphors, and dialogue across flowing markings, paper layering, veiled details, rare colors, and ingenious compositions.
This exhibition is organized by Paola Morsiani, Director of The Brodsky Center at PAFA
Artwork of Endurance, 1979–2018: Three Decades in Print from the Permanent Collection features works by artists Emma Amos, Eleanor Antin, Edgar Arceneaux, Nancy Azara, Radcliffe Bailey, Louisiana Bendolph, Mary Lee Bendolph, Loretta P. Bennett, McArthur Binion, Betsy Damon, Mary Beth Edelson, Melvin Edwards, Lauren Ewing, Howard Finster, Charles Gaines, Harmony Hammond, Lonnie Holley, David Huffman, Margo Humphrey, Richard Hunt, Samuel Levi Jones, Byron Kim, Joyce Kozloff, Samella Lewis, Kerry James Marshall, Clarence Morgan, Diane Neumaier, Pepón Osorio, Loretta Pettway, Howardena Pindell, Martin Puryear, Faith Ringgold, Miriam Schapiro, Carolee