ATLANTA.- The High Museum of Art presents Paper Trail: African American Works on Paper, beginning July 1 through September 3, 2006. This exhibition, based on the Highs collection of African American works on paper, seeks to blur boundaries and highlight that African American art is more than just art by African American artiststhat it encompasses a range of decisions and consistent themes that document creative strategies of self-expression.
African American art is as complex as the members of that community, said Michael D. Harris, the Highs Consulting Curator of African American Art. The purpose of this exhibition is to examine the evidencethus, paper trailof diverse interests that African American artists have explored. Creative decisions showcased in this exhibition include whether to emphasize and acknowledge ones ethnicity or to emphasize ones role as an artist as a means of foregrounding his or her humanity in a more personal sense.
The exhibition features many never-before exhibited works and embraces an array of artists from the end of the Harlem Renaissance (1940s) to the present, including Terry Adkins, recent David C. Driskell Prize winner Willie Cole, Sam Gilliam, Adrian Piper, Kara Walker, and John Scott. The exhibition comprises four general categories of expression: Subjectification and Personal Vision, Rootedness, Abstraction and Exploration, and Identity and Conflict. Rather than representing chronological developments, these groupings suggest the diversity and complexity of African American art connected with, but distinct from, mainstream modern and American art in the 20th century.
A Conversation with Willie Cole - On July 16 the High will host A Conversation with Artist Willie Cole at 4 p.m. in the Hill Auditorium. Cole will discuss his use of discarded everyday objectssuch as irons, blow dryers and high-heeled shoesto create sculptures, installations and prints that present social, political or cultural perspectives of the urban African American experience. A conversation with Michael D. Harris, Professor of Art History, University of North Carolina, and Consulting Curator of African American Art, High Museum of Art, will follow the artists talk.
Willie Cole is the 2006 recipient of the David C. Driskell Prize. Named after the renowned African American artist and art scholar, the Driskell Prize recognizes an individual in the beginning or middle of his or her career whose work makes an original and important contribution to the field of African American art and art history.