Narrative works by:
Mark Steven Greenfield. Zeal Harris, Umar Rashid,
Lezley Saar, Frank J. Williams
February 11-March 17, 2019 (gallery will be closed on February 18)
Reception: Thursday, February 21, 7-9 PM
Gallery Talk: Tuesday, February 26, at 1 PM
|El Camino College Art Gallery is proud to present the work of five artists from the
Southern California area, all of whom have multi-faceted mixtures of African American
ancestry. As individual artists each is dealing with the complexities of African
American experience in society, whether the subject is placed in historical, metaphysical,
mythological, or contemporary setting. The imagery in the exhibition ranges from
autobiographical accounts of daily experience to chronicling specific historical events
and/or commenting on racial preconception.
Mark Steven Greenfield presents a series of drawings in ink and acrylic on Duralar derived, in part, from subconscious material gleaned from his meditative practice. Greenfield explores the psychological effect of cultural stereotypes, such as blackface minstrelsy and early black cartoon characters. More recently he focuses on images of the Black African spiritual practice, Egun, as filtered through an Americanized contemporary lens.
Zeal Harris exhibits two new series of paintings/drawings on silk panels.
Bantus of the Black Atlantic, is a poetic narrative about a band of African American ancestral mothers in search of a Promised Land. The narrative exists in mystical space time and symbolically commences in the Great Dismal Swamp of Virginia. This was the longest standing maroon locale for runaways from slavery.
I Be Livin' Black Love is a political-cartoon-like series of illustrations accompanied by urban vernacular language, that will eventually comprise a book. These drawings document contemporary, everyday moments and offer insight into gender and sexuality issues of Black Women.
Umar Rashid (aka Frohawk Two Feathers) presents a series of prints done in ink, tea and coffee on paper, derived from Boccaccio’s Decameron. The drawings depict the tales of a group of wealthy colonial Dominicans, circa 1790, during the conquest of their side of the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, by the recently liberated Haitian army. Rashid comments ,“It is a funny, strange and tragic tale.”
Lezley Saar exhibits paintings in acrylic with digital photographs on fabric or board, from several different series of her, frequently surrealistic, artwork. The series represented herein includes Gender Renaissance, which Saar refers to as “a glance at transgender history through a surreal lens, with a non-binary, gender fluid glaze”. These images, while replete with Victorian atmosphere, examine contemporary issues.
The Monad series stems from Saar’s interest in mysticism and metaphysics, specifically Madame Blavatsky’s belief that microcosm and macrocosm are connected.
Madwoman in the Attic is a series which is comprised of portraits of insane heroines from 19th Century Literature. These heroines stand out in a time when literature almost exclusively portrayed women characters as subservient or virtuous or victims.
Frank J. Williams exhibits paintings in a combination of oil, acrylic and enamel on canvas. His large-scale works marry the human figure with vibrantly colored abstraction. While exploring the potential of his materials and the formal realm of color, Williams delves into the emotionally associative value of color linked with drama, activity and state of mind. Additionally, Williams shows a series of small drawings in charcoal pencil on paper of emotionally charged, silhouetted figures composed of chain link.
Zeal Harris; “Bantus Revival”; Mixed Media on Silk; 16” x 24”
Umar Rashid; “Image 3 from The DeCam’ron, 1793 Series; Ink and Tea on Paper; 12” x 9”
Mark Steven Greenfield; “Pepto Punk Angel”; Ink and Acrylic on Duralar; 40”x 67”