Bringing together over fifty years of work, “Faith Ringgold: American People” provides the most comprehensive assessment to date of the artist’s impactful vision.
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Artist, author, educator, and organizer, Faith Ringgold is one of the most influential cultural figures of her generation, with a career linking the multi-disciplinary practices of the Harlem Renaissance to the political art of young Black artists working today. For sixty years, Ringgold has drawn from both personal autobiography and collective histories to both document her life as an artist and mother and to amplify the struggles for social justice and equity. From creating some of the most indelible artworks of the civil rights era to challenging accepted hierarchies of art versus craft through her experimental story quilts, Faith Ringgold has produced a body of work that bears witness to the complexity of the American experience.
“Faith Ringgold: American People” is the most comprehensive exhibition to date of this groundbreaking artist’s vision, highlighted by the first full presentation of her historic French Collection in over twenty years along with many other quintessential works that will be exhibited together for the first time in decades. Featuring Ringgold’s best-known series, this show examines the artist’s figurative style as it evolved to meet the urgency of political and social change. The exhibition also foregrounds her radical explorations of gender and racial identities, which the artist incorporates into the rich textures of her paintings, soft sculptures, and story quilts. Among the most important artworks of the past fifty years, Ringgold’s fabric works combine local traditions and global references to compose a polyphonic history of this country. Long overdue, this retrospective provides a timely opportunity to experience the art of an American icon.
Image: Faith Ringgold, American People Series #18: The Flag Is Bleeding, 1967. Oil on canvas, 72 × 96 in. (182.9 × 243.8 cm). National Gallery of Art, Washington, Patrons’ Permanent Fund and Gift of Glenstone Foundation (2021.28.1). © Faith Ringgold / ARS, NY and DACS, London, courtesy ACA Galleries, New York 2021