Jenkins Johnson Gallery is pleased to announce its participation in FOG Design + Art at Fort Mason Center, January 15-19, 2020 in Booth 304. We will present works that explore the revolutionary period of 1970-80 in American history and its lasting impact on contemporary art, through the work of artists Jae and Wadsworth Jarrell, Ming Smith, Dewey Crumpler, Gordon Parks, Lavar Munroe and Enrico Riley. These artists respond to the unrest, change, and pride brought by the Civil Rights Movement and Black Power era, and the parallel issues happening in our current times. Soul of a Nation, which features works by Jae and Wadsworth Jarrell, Ming Smith, Dewey Crumpler, will concurrently be on view at the de Young Museum, after presentations at the Tate Modern, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and the Broad, expanding this timely presentation and adding to its relevance.
Jae and Wadsworth Jarrell are founding members of AfriCOBRA (African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists), the collective that defined the visual aesthetic of the Black Arts Movement and influenced artists such as Kerry James Marshall and Kehinde Wiley. Jae’s one-of-a-kind revolution-themed clothing also utilizes “Kool-Aid” colors, a wordplay on a popular beverage. Her garments exalt black families and culture and were worn by the artist in her daily life. We will present their recent and current works which continue their rich legacy. Wadsworth’s pattern-intensive portraits combine vibrant colors with Black Power slogans, to depict the intensity of political activism, and explore themes of music and performance. The Jarrells are in such collections as the Brooklyn Museum of Art, High Museum of Art, National Museum of African American History and Culture, and Studio Museum in Harlem. 2018 marked the 50th anniversary of the founding of AfriCOBRA. Recent exhibitions include Cleveland Museum of Art, Smart Museum of Art, ICA Boston, and MoCA North Miami. Their work was recently included in the 58th Venice Biennale.
Lavar Munroe’s paintings explore income disparity, war and racism. His most recent series, The Redbones, depict a group of child-soldiers placed onthe frontlines of war by the wealthy elite. The series follows these boys as they seek heroism and freedom amidst poverty and violence, referencing Joseph Campbell’s Monomyth (The Hero’s Journey). Munroe was a participant in Okwui Enwezor’s 56th Venice Biennale and Trevor Schoonmaker’s Prospect.4. He is currently featured in The Other Side of Now: Foresight in Contemporary Caribbean Art at the Perez Art Museum, Miami and was recently in Get Up, Stand Up Now at the Somerset House, London, UK and Coffee, Rhum, Sugar, Gold: A Postcolonial Paradox, at the Museum of the African Diaspora, San Francisco.
Ming Smith documents black urban life with mysterious, ethereal photography. We will present her vintage and modern prints. She was the first black female photographer acquired by The Museum of Modern Art and the first female member of the influential black photography collective Kamoinge. The J. Paul Getty Museum recently acquired five iconic works from Smith’s August Wilson Series. Currently she is featured in Down Time: On the Art of Retreat at the Smart Museum of Art. She was included in MoMA’s 2010 groundbreaking exhibition, Pictures by Women. Recently, she was in Brooklyn Museum’s We Wanted A Revolution and at London’s Serpentine Sackler Gallery exhibition, Arthur Jafa: A Series of Improbable, Yet Extraordinary Renditions. Her work is in the collections of MoMA, Whitney Museum of American Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Detroit Institute of Arts, Virginia Museum of Fine Art, Brooklyn Museum, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and the National Museum of African-American History and Culture.
Dewey Crumpler examines the lure of contemporary pop culture in his mixed media works which explore global consumer capitalism. Using the container ship as a symbol to explore economic power, as well as the history of the middle passage. Crumpler is Associate Professor at the San Francisco Art Institute, where he taught Kehinde Wiley. He is in the permanent collections of the Oakland Museum of California; the Triton Museum of Art, Santa Clara, CA; and the California African American Museum. Digital images of his murals were included in the 2017 Tate Modern’s Soul of a Nation. He received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship Grant, a Flintridge Foundation Award, and the Fleishacker Foundation Fellowship Eureka Award.
Enrico Riley creates paintings that are part of an unfolding and evolving cycle that investigates themes of historical and contemporary violence, martyrdom, grief, and the middle passage. Riley is the recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, a Rome Prize in Visual Arts, an American Academy of Arts and Letters Purchase Prize in Painting, the George Frederick Jewitt Professorship in Art at Dartmouth College and a Jacobus Family Fellowship through Dartmouth College. Currently he is featured in Black Bodies on the Cross at The Hood Museum along with Romare Bearden and Kara Walker.
Upcoming exhibitions include State of the Art 2020 at The Momentary and Crystal Bridges Museum of Art, and a solo exhibition at the Museum of Art at the University of New Hampshire. His work is in collections including the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Dean Collection, the Columbus Museum in Georgia, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and the Nasher Sculpture Center.
Renaissance man, Gordon Parks, was a pioneer of 20th century art, a beloved photographer, writer, composer and filmmaker whose career spanned over six decades. As the world reacts to upheavals in global politics, Parks’ civil rights photo essays are especially relevant. Parks work captures the turmoil, unrest, and the human emotion of another tumultuous time in world history. The Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s was a reaction to political and cultural divides, and the present provides striking similarities. The current struggles in the U.S. and through the world for racial equality, freedom of religion, open immigration, women’s right and LGBTQ equality echo the activism portrayed in Parks’ photographs. Parks is in major museum collections around the globe including MoMA, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, The Art Institute of Chicago, and the J. Paul Getty Museum.