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Inside Faith Ringgold: American People Exhibition at MCA Chicago

A Journey Through 60 Years of Faith Ringgold’s Powerful and Political Art

Nov 18, 2023–Feb 25, 2024 | Griffin Galleries of Contemporary Art

Faith Ringgold: American People, a captivating exhibition currently on display at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) in Chicago, offers a profound exploration of the influential artist's career and her significant contributions to the art world. Running from November 18, 2023, to February 25, 2024, in the Griffin Galleries of Contemporary Art on the museum’s fourth floor, this exhibition provides visitors with a comprehensive assessment of Faith Ringgold's impactful vision.


Faith Ringgold (b. 1930, New York, NY), The French Collection Part I, #4: The Sunflowers Quilting Bee at Arles, 1991. Acrylic on canvas with pieced fabric border; 74 × 80 in. (188 × 203.2 cm). Private collection. © 2023 Faith Ringgold / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.
Faith Ringgold (b. 1930, New York, NY), The French Collection Part I, #4: The Sunflowers Quilting Bee at Arles, 1991. Acrylic on canvas with pieced fabric border; 74 × 80 in. (188 × 203.2 cm). Private collection. © 2023 Faith Ringgold / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.


As an artist, author, educator, and organizer, Faith Ringgold has established herself as a seminal figure, connecting the multidisciplinary practices of the Harlem Renaissance to the political art of young Black artists in contemporary times. The exhibition at MCA Chicago showcases Ringgold's extensive body of work and highlights her ability to use art as a medium for documenting her personal experiences as an artist and a mother, and addressing collective struggles for social justice and equity.


Faith Ringgold's art is deeply rooted in her autobiography and collective histories, enabling her to create artworks that bear witness to the complexities of the American experience. The exhibition at MCA Chicago features some of Ringgold's most renowned series, including her experimental story quilts, the iconic painting series American People and Black Light, as well as her soft sculptures, performance objects, and ephemera related to her activist work.


One of the exhibition's significant achievements is its exploration of Ringgold's figurative style and how it evolved to reflect the urgency of political and social change. Her works challenge established hierarchies between art and craft and offer radical explorations of gender and racial identities. Through the rich textures of her paintings, soft sculptures, and story quilts, Ringgold weaves together local traditions and global references to compose a polyphonic history of the United States.


In addition to showcasing Ringgold's own work, the exhibition at MCA Chicago contextualizes her practice within the broader art historical landscape. It includes works by artists who have been influenced by Ringgold or who engage with themes present in her art. This comprehensive approach enables visitors to appreciate the profound impact of Ringgold's artistic vision and its enduring relevance.


The curation of Faith Ringgold: American People at MCA Chicago is credited to Jamillah James, the Manilow Senior Curator, along with Jack Schneider, the Assistant Curator. The exhibition was originally organized by the New Museum in New York and curated by Massimiliano Gioni, the Edlis Neeson Artistic Director, and Gary Carrion-Murayari, the Kraus Family Curator, with the assistance of Madeline Weisburg, the Curatorial Assistant.



Kudzanai-Violet Hwami | The wedding of the astronauts 4, 2022 Acrylic and oil on canvas, 180 x 146 cm (70 7/8 x 57 1/2 in)© Kudzanai-Violet Hwami | Courtesy the artist and Victoria Miro
Installation view, Faith Ringgold: American People, MCA Chicago. November 18, 2023 – February 25, 2024. Photo: Shelby Ragsdale, © MCA Chicago.

For More Information, View Museum of Contemporary art Chicago

 

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Inside Faith Ringgold: American People Exhibition at MCA Chicago

January 12, 2024

Fredrick Favour

2 min read