Dates: 08/14/18 - 10/28/18
Reveal/Conceal: Exploring Identity in Contemporary Art features more than 25 works from the Arkansas Arts Center Foundation collection. Collectively, the works in the exhibition illustrate the myriad ways by which contemporary artists reveal – or, in some instances, conceal – either their identities or those of their subjects.
The centerpiece of the exhibition is a recent acquisition – Ebony G. Patterson’s Untitled (Marvini), from the DisciplezSeries. A monumental work, the mixed-media triptych illustrates the artist’s ongoing “exploration of constructions of the masculine within popular culture.” Using Jamaican dancehall culture as a platform for this discourse, her work examines the “fashionable practice of skin bleaching, followed by examinations of so-called ‘bling culture’ and its relationship to the masculine within the urban context.” Patterson’s artwork prompts a dialogue about body politics, performance of gender, gender and beauty, beauty and stereotyping, race and beauty, and body and ritual.
Also using portraiture as a vehicle for expression is ceramic sculptor Peter Lenzo. Influenced by the nineteenth-century Southern pottery face jug tradition, Lenzo creates self-portrait face jugs that are a unique interpretation of this long-standing folk art tradition. His boldly colored sculptures are a personal response to the debilitating effects of epileptic seizures he experienced many years after a 1977 bike accident and serve as a visual diary and creative outlet. Because of their unpredictable frequency and their severity, the episodes required the artist to begin wearing protective headgear to prevent further head trauma. Seizure in the Garden (2005) features two Janus-like heads representing the two Peters: “healthy” Peter and “sick” Peter. On the back of the work, he documents several other episodes that occurred in the first half of that year, all of which the artist named – much as hurricanes are named. Also on the back are additional recollections about the found objects that adorn the work, as well as other personal details.
Arkansas Arts Center
501 E. 9th St., Little Rock, AR, 72202
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