In the Galleries: By Mark Jenkins

In the galleries:  Black artists explore cultural issues
Review by Mark Jenkins

Black Like Me

“When Cranes Root,” by Claudia “Aziza” Gibson-Hunter, included in the 12-artist “Black Like Me” exhibit. (Claudia Gibson-Hunter/Zenith Gallery)

 

“I See You Here Forever” by Wesley Clark

There are many striking pieces in “Black Like Me,” a 12-artist show at Zenith Gallery’s downtown location, but one literally towers above the rest. Wesley Clark’s “I See You Here & Forever” is a seven-foot statue, made of painted foam and resin, of a man with a cowled head. His face is tilted and his eyes gaze upward, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t behold everything around him, since his arms are covered in additional eyes.

“Mardi Gras”, by Bernie Houston Driftwood, acrylics, beeswax, and varnish, 28” x 46” x 21

Griot Playing his Guitar, by Ibou N’Diaye, Mahogany, 30” x 16” x 7”

If Clark’s sculpture is the most imposing, many others have visual appeal and thematic heft. Among Bernie Houston’s exuberant, driftwood-derived characters is a purple-garbed Mardi Gras reveler, while Ibou N’Diaye’s stylized, carved-wood figures include a guitar-playing griot in a dynamic pose. New growth blooms from the steel-wire feet of Kristine Mays’s “Freedom,” and one of Chris Malone’s colorful mosaic-covered creatures is dropping a gun in an anti-violence gesture.

The highlights of the more-or-less flat entries include Hubert Jackson’s expressionist portrait of Duke Ellington and vibrant collages by Claudia “Aziza” Gibson-Hunter that center on such elements as a robust black squiggle or a vivid red diagonal. If Jackson’s painting salutes a standard Black history subject, Gibson-Hunter’s collages are boldly individualistic.

Put Down the Gun”, by Chris Malone ceramic mosaic, 49” x 39” x 20”

“Freedom”, by Kristine Mays Steel wire, 18” x 15” x 12”

“The highlights of the more-or-less flat entries include Hubert Jackson’s expressionist portrait of Duke Ellington and vibrant collages by Claudia “Aziza” Gibson-Hunter that center on such elements as a robust black squiggle or a vivid red diagonal. If Jackson’s painting salutes a standard Black history subject, Gibson-Hunter’s collages are boldly individualistic.

“I Love You Madly” by Hubert Jackson, acrylic on canvas, 40″ x 30″

Featuring Artists: Wesley Clark, Julee Dickerson Thompson, Bulsby “Buzz” Duncan, Claudia Gibson-Hunter, Carolyn Goodridge, Francine Haskins, Bernie Houston, Hubert Jackson, Chris Malone, Kristine Mays, Ibou N’Diaye, Curtis Woody

Black Like Me Through April 22 at Zenith Gallery, 1111 Pennsylvania Ave. NW.

 

 

 

 

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/arts-entertainment/2023/04/07/art-gallery-shows-dc-area/

 

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