Memory and HeritageGAMBIER, Ohio (January 12, 2004) African-American ancestry and cultural memory will come to life in Kenyon College's Olin Art Gallery when the exhibit "Whitfield Lovell: Tableaux" opens Thursday, January 22. Lovell, whose work will be on display through Sunday, February 29, has received world-wide acclaim for his work combining African-American ancestry and cultural memory drawings with found objects and other components of personal metaphor.
The exhibit coincides with Kenyon's celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. week in January and the recognition of February as Black History Month. Boston University Professor of Art History Patricia Hills will present a talk and slide lecture about Lovell's work on Thursday, January 29, at 7:30 p.m. in the College's Olin Auditorium, located in Olin Library. The lecture will be followed by an opening reception in the gallery.
Inspired by his own background, global travels, and a large collection of found objects and photographs, Lovell creates large-scale drawings that examine issues of identity, gender, love, death, and loss. His life-size charcoal renderings of African-American figures on wood panels are based upon the early twentieth century professional studio photographs he has acquired at flea markets and antique stores.
Lovell's art is about memory and heritage and how the past has shaped society. His combined themes of African-American ancestry and cultural memory evoke and honor the era of the 1920s and 1930s.
The Olin exhibit includes votive-style pieces that incorporate two-dimensional drawings with three-dimensional found objects. The exhibit includes "tableaux" in the title to distinguish between the works on display at Kenyon and the full-scale room installations Lovell has shown elsewhere.
Lovell is a graduate of the Cooper Union School of Art in New York. His work has been exhibited in such museums as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the National Museum of American Art, and the Seattle Art Museum.
Hours at the Olin Gallery are 8:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The exhibit is free and open to the public.
One of the nation's leading liberal arts and sciences colleges and home to the Kenyon Review, Kenyon College offers 1,594 students a challenging educational experience enriched by a culture of friendship. Graduates of the College have included actor and philanthropist Paul Newman and author E. L. Doctorow.