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Baltimore Museum of Art 'superstars' of tomorrow

The artist, who died in 2012, does not appear to have lacked self-confidence. His painting “Red Room” is an homage and challenge to post-Impressionist master Henri Matisse, who created a famous painting with the same name in 1908. Ghebreyesus’ work also evokes his predecessor’s fascination with African masks and fabrics and with the uncontrolled exuberance of plants. “This painting deserves to hang in the Cone Collection,” Bedford said, referring to the modern masterpieces that form the basis of the BMA’s holdings.
(HANDOUT)
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Five new works by artists of color that Baltimore Museum of Art curators believe will engage viewers now — and might even stand the test of time.
(Mary Carole McCauley)
“Untitled (Black Light)” by Fred Eversley
With its seductive curves and gleaming finish, this bowl-shaped sculpture evokes the cosmos. Stand at a distance and watch the way the lights in the gallery are reflected in the surface like stars. Bedford noted that the sculpture also playfully subverts physical laws. Human beings are reflected upside down. And regardless of genetic heritage, all the people in the reflections appear Black.
With its seductive curves and gleaming finish, this bowl-shaped sculpture evokes the cosmos. Stand at a distance and watch the way the lights in the gallery are reflected in the surface like stars. Bedford noted that the sculpture also playfully subverts physical laws. Human beings are reflected upside down. And regardless of genetic heritage, all the people in the reflections appear Black. (HANDOUT)
“Red Room,” by Ficre Ghebreyesus
The artist, who died in 2012, does not appear to have lacked self-confidence. His painting “Red Room” is an homage and challenge to post-Impressionist master Henri Matisse, who created a famous painting with the same name in 1908. Ghebreyesus’ work also evokes his predecessor’s fascination with African masks and fabrics and with the uncontrolled exuberance of plants. “This painting deserves to hang in the Cone Collection,” Bedford said, referring to the modern masterpieces that form the basis of the BMA’s holdings.
The artist, who died in 2012, does not appear to have lacked self-confidence. His painting “Red Room” is an homage and challenge to post-Impressionist master Henri Matisse, who created a famous painting with the same name in 1908. Ghebreyesus’ work also evokes his predecessor’s fascination with African masks and fabrics and with the uncontrolled exuberance of plants. “This painting deserves to hang in the Cone Collection,” Bedford said, referring to the modern masterpieces that form the basis of the BMA’s holdings. (HANDOUT)
Malcolm X #15 by Barbara Chase-Riboud
This monumental, 8-foot tall sculpture combines metal and fiber to elicit contradictory associations of hard and soft, male and female, brutality and beauty in an abstract portrait of the slain civil rights leader. Shining jet-black ropes of silk and wool are cleverly arranged at the base so that the fibers appear to bear the weight of the massive bronze slabs. “Without a doubt, this artist will go down in history as one of the greatest sculptors of our time,” said Asma Naeem, the BMA’s chief curator. “She is a pioneer and a renegade.”
This monumental, 8-foot tall sculpture combines metal and fiber to elicit contradictory associations of hard and soft, male and female, brutality and beauty in an abstract portrait of the slain civil rights leader. Shining jet-black ropes of silk and wool are cleverly arranged at the base so that the fibers appear to bear the weight of the massive bronze slabs. “Without a doubt, this artist will go down in history as one of the greatest sculptors of our time,” said Asma Naeem, the BMA’s chief curator. “She is a pioneer and a renegade.” (HANDOUT)
“Unraveling” by Sonya Clark
Thread by thread, and working from the bottom, the artist and invited audience members have began pulling apart a Confederate flag. The threads pool like blood at the base of the installation. Not only is the artist deconstructing a myth, Bedford said, she’s asking viewers what will replace this potent symbol in the future. “It’s not the flag of the Confederacy any more, but it’s a flag that is still flown and that is still powerful,” Bedford said.
Thread by thread, and working from the bottom, the artist and invited audience members have began pulling apart a Confederate flag. The threads pool like blood at the base of the installation. Not only is the artist deconstructing a myth, Bedford said, she’s asking viewers what will replace this potent symbol in the future. “It’s not the flag of the Confederacy any more, but it’s a flag that is still flown and that is still powerful,” Bedford said. (HANDOUT)
“Forbidden Fruit” by Mary Lovelace O’Neal
This vibrant Abstract Expressionist painting evokes associations ranging from Paul Cezanne’s iconic apples to the Garden of Eden to Billie Holliday’s most famous song. It’s also an example of the impact museum endorsements have on the art marketplace. In 2018, the BMA bought its first painting by O’Neal for $40,000. A partner in a prestigious New York gallery saw the artwork on view in Baltimore, was wowed, and offered the artist a solo show. Collectors took note — with the result that by the time the BMA attempted to purchase a second painting by O’Neal, her work could no longer be snapped up for five figures. Museum officials gulped, but gave curators the go-ahead to purchase “Forbidden Fruit” for roughly $240,000.
This vibrant Abstract Expressionist painting evokes associations ranging from Paul Cezanne’s iconic apples to the Garden of Eden to Billie Holliday’s most famous song. It’s also an example of the impact museum endorsements have on the art marketplace. In 2018, the BMA bought its first painting by O’Neal for $40,000. A partner in a prestigious New York gallery saw the artwork on view in Baltimore, was wowed, and offered the artist a solo show. Collectors took note — with the result that by the time the BMA attempted to purchase a second painting by O’Neal, her work could no longer be snapped up for five figures. Museum officials gulped, but gave curators the go-ahead to purchase “Forbidden Fruit” for roughly $240,000. (HANDOUT)
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