Joe Ray featured on LACMA's "Unframed" Blog

Celebrating Black History Month—Modern Collection Highlights

In honor of Black History Month, LACMA highlights works by Black and African American artists across various departments of the museum’s permanent collection to celebrate their lives, their legacies, and their often overlooked impact on art history.  The recent UNFRAMED blog focused on works in the Modern Art department, including their recent acquisition of a painting by Joe Ray.

“….With its symbols of freedom and equality alongside those of repression and protest, US points to the oppositional realities of Black people in America. The gazelle head symbolizes the African continent, while Ray describes the flower below as an urban plant that manages to grow in concrete. The spade outlined in the center evokes a racial slur, card games, leaves, and a tool for digging and planting. The traditionally blue field of the American flag is made here of kente cloth, a textile with origins in Ghana and significance to the West African diaspora. The splashes of black paint reference Abstract Expressionism—considered the cultural moment when the U.S. began to dominate the international art world—as well as stained urban sidewalks and paint thrown in protest…”

February 24, 2021
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