Art of the Caribbean in NYC

Art of the Caribbean in NYC

Written by Editor

Topics: Art & Photography

Ebony G. Patterson, Dudley Irons, Renee Cox, Edna Manley, Albert Huie and Isaac Mendes Belisario are among the Jamaican artists featured in the ongoing “Caribbean: Crossroads of the World” exhibition in New York, which is organised by El Museo del Barrio in collaboration with the Queens Museum of Art and The Studio Museum in Harlem. The multi-venue exhibition is comprised of more than 500 works of art from 379 artists, and brings into sharp focus the rich history of the Caribbean and its transatlantic cultures.

Dudley Irons - "Black Star Liner" (1995), Wayne and Myrene Cox Collection

Accompanied by an ambitious range of programmes and events, “Caribbean: Crossroads” illuminates changing aesthetics and ideologies and provokes meaningful conversations about topics ranging from commerce and cultural hybridity to politics and popular culture. It is the culmination of nearly a decade of collaborative research and scholarship that draws attention to diverse views of the contemporary Caribbean and sheds new light on the encounters and exchanges among the countries and territories comprising the New World.

The works on view, culled from collections around the world, represent Caribbean perspectives and external perceptions of the region through a wide range of subjects and artistic practices that include portraiture, spiritual and religious themes, depictions of labor and historical events, abstraction, and contemporary video and installation work. This selection provides a visual history of the Caribbean as a pivotal crossroads between Africa, Europe, Asia and the Americas.

Ebony G. Patterson - "Untitled Species I" (2010–2011), Collection of David Beitzel, New York

Renée Cox - "Redcoat" from “Queen Nanny of the Maroons” series (2004), Courtesy the artist

“Caribbean: Crossroads” explores six distinct themes split amongst the three venues: Counterpoints, Patriot Acts, Fluid Motions, Kingdoms of this World, Shades of History, and Land of the Outlaw. The exhibition opened on the week of June 12 and will run until October 21 at The Studio Museum and January 6, 2013 at El Museo de Barrio and The Queens Museum of Art.

“We’ve employed a polyphonic perspective to deal with a huge archipelago that it is as diverse and complex as New York City, which is, to many, the largest Caribbean city,” reflects Elvis Fuentes, Project Director and Curator of Special Projects for El Museo del Barrio.

“For the first time ever, this project will examine the impact of Africa, Southeast Asia and Europe on the visual culture of the Caribbean, including painters that were part of the Impressionists and Surrealists in France, to homegrown schools recovering popular traditions and developing original styles…the public will realize how intertwined the Caribbean and American experiences truly are.”

A major accompanying publication, “Caribbean: Art at the Crossroads of the World”, will serve as a resource for the study of early modern and contemporary Caribbean history, art, and culture. Edited by Deborah Cullen and Elvis Fuentes and co-published by Yale University Press, it features texts by leading scholars, curators and intellectuals such as Veerle Poupeye, Director, National Gallery of Jamaica, Alston Barrington Chevannes, David Boxer, V.S. Naipaul and Derek Walcott.

Colombian fine art photographer Leo Matiz - "Peacock from the Sea (Pavo real del mar)" (1939), Leo Matiz Foundation. Photo: Leo Matiz Foundation, Alejandra Matiz

Puerto Rican artist Arnaldo Roche Rabell - "We have to dream in blue (Hay que soñar en azul)" (1986), Collection of John Belk & Margarita Serapion, courtesy Walter Otero Gallery

Colombian artist Enrique Grau Araujo – “Mulata cartagenera (Mulatta from Cartagena)” (1940), Oil on canvas 28 x 24 in. (71 x 61 cm), Museo Nacional, Bogotá, Colombia

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