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Iconic 90-Year-Old Artist Faith Ringgold Is Being Celebrated At A Museum In Maryland
Faith Ringgold was one of the most important Black artists during the Civil Rights movement era. The iconic 90-year-old, who is also an author and activist, used her talent to intertwine the issues of gender and race in many forms throughout her career.
Working in a variety of media and modes—from quilts and paintings to performance and children’s books— Faith Ringgold depicts the beauty and complexity of the African American experience.
“Faith Ringgold is a survey exhibition organized by Serpentine Galleries, London. More than 70 works on view highlight the artist’s range and include paintings, story quilts, and political posters, and feature nine works from Glenstone’s collection,” says Glenstone Museum in its official website.
The exhibition was inspired by Ringgold’s work across genres, including “American People” (1963–67), “Black Light” (1967–69), and “Feminist Series” (1972).
It is the most expansive exhibition of Ringgold’s work to date.
Faith Ringgold, who was a key early member of Where We At Black Women Artists, Inc. (WWA), began expressing herself as a practicing artist in the early 1960s, during the Civil Rights Movement era. This was during a time when the efforts to debunk stereotypes, fight for equality and the specifics of Black experiences took over the United States in the 1960s and 1970s.
This movement was not only strong within politics, but also in the art field, where Black artists used their creativity to express themselves. It was in this era that WWA was born.
“I constantly looked for the galleries that accepted Black artists. If I asked, and they said, ‘no,’ it didn’t bother me because I expected to hear, ‘no,’.“ I have kind of forgotten the sharp feeling I used to get of being rejected, and maybe it has to do with being left out so many times. Alright. Go ahead. Leave me out if you want. I’ll come in another door.” Ringgold told CBS Sunday Morning about her pioneering, seven-decade career.
Over the years, Ringgold has worked in multiple mediums, producing striking paintings about American racism and story quilts that explore African American life and her own biography.
Ringgold was born in Harlem and lives and works in Englewood, New Jersey.
The exhibition is curated by Emily Rales, co-founder, director, and chief curator of the private museum. Glenstone’s collection includes nine works by Ringgold, all on view in the survey.
“If she wanted to do something, she was not going to let anything stand in her way. Whether that was experimenting with different kinds of media or technique, she was going to do it no matter what,” Rales told CBS. “Each decade brought a new innovation. One of the things I feel really defines her practice is this fearlessness to take on anything.”
The exhibition is scheduled to close on October 24.