I prefer looking at art with people. It slows me down and helps me engage more fully. I am lucky to have two partners in looking: Ben Levy and Tru Ludwig. (More on each of them in a later post.) During the 2011 NY Print Week, Tru and I headed downtown to hit the galleries. We were traipsing around Chelsea catching shows both on purpose and by chance when we tripped over this glorious print by Whitfield Lovell. There's always great stuff in 535 W 22nd St., home to DC Moore Gallery, Leslie Tonkonow, and Julie Saul. DC Moore had a show up of Lovell's fabulous drawings, one of which I would have loved to acquire--they were out of range for the museum's budget. There turned out to be some treasures not on view, too. (At print fairs, the best stuff is often under the table--always ask to see it.)
Lovell's lithograph, Deuce, was published by Smith College in an edition of 40 on Ivory Plike paper, but several experimental versions had been printed on vintage flags, which, to my mind heightens just about everything about the print. One of these special versions had the flag in a vertical position, which made the disembodied heads look like they were hanging/lynched. Now, I'm not one to shy away from a strong, political work of art, but I believe the one we acquired held more impact in its ambiguity: the red stripe across the mouth effectively silencing the man, the clarity of his eyes as he sees all of the inequities and injustices around him, the ambiguous and complicated relationship African Americans have with patriotism. There is so much to unpack here and it was frequently used in the studyroom for various classes. Someday I would love to mount a Lovell exhibition. He's worth checking out.
Whitfield Lovell (American, born 1959)
Published by Smith College Print Workshop
Printed by Derrière L'Étoile Studios
Sheet: 768 x 1130 mm. (30 1/4 x 44 1/2 in.);
Image: 413 x 705 mm. (16 1/4 x 27 3/4 in.)
Crayon lithograph on American flag mounted to paper
The Baltimore Museum of Art: Women's Committee
Acquisitions Endowment for Contemporary Prints and
Photographs, BMA 2012.154
Ann's art blog
A small corner of the interwebs to share thoughts on objects I acquired for the Baltimore Museum of Art's collection, research I've done on Stanley William Hayter and Atelier 17, experiments in intaglio printmaking, and the Baltimore Contemporary Print Fair.