Let’s Dance! Groovin High on the High Line

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Author: 
Ashley Tickle
Photo by Timothy SchenckPhoto by Timothy Schenck
 

There are only a few days left to see artist’s Faith Ringgold’s fun and colorful High Line Billboard, Groovin High, next to the High Line at West 18th Street.

Faith Ringgold is a painter, writer, speaker, mixed media sculptor, and performance artist working in Englewood, New Jersey. Since the early 1960s, Ringgold has been known since for her story quilts, politically charged paintings and prints, and illustrated children’s books. She has eloquently articulated a critical perspective on American identity through the lenses of the feminist and civil rights movements. Her boldly colorful geometric compositions point to influences from early American and European Modernism, dhakas – richly brocaded Tibetan paintings – and African masks. Her choice of the quilt as her primary medium in later years reflects a fundamental connection to practicality and her ancestors' feminine crafts.

For the High Line, Ringgold revisited her colorful and paradigmatic story quilt Groovin High (1986), one of the many story quilts Ringgold created that inspired a revival of the medium in the late 1970s. Depicting a crowded dance hall bordered by quilted hand-dyed fabrics, Groovin High is evocative of Ringgold’s memories of Sunday afternoon dances at the Savoy and her connection to the African American communities of her native Harlem. Her style reflects formal treatments of shape, color, and perspective reminiscent of many painters whose styles defined the Harlem Renaissance, an immensely productive and creative cultural movement of the 1920s that erupted out of the African American community living in the eponymous New York neighborhood.

Groovin High will be on view through June 2 and is located within the Edison ParkFast parking lot next to the High Line at West 18th Street and 10th Avenue.

You can also visit Ringgold’s mosaic Flying Home: Harlem Heroes and Heroines (Downtown and Uptown) at the 125th Street 2/ 3 subway station.

See more photographs of Groovin High below.

Photo by Timothy SchenckPhoto by Timothy Schenck
 
Photo by Timothy SchenckPhoto by Timothy Schenck
 
Photo by Timothy SchenckPhoto by Timothy Schenck
 
Photo by Timothy SchenckPhoto by Timothy Schenck
 
Photo by Timothy SchenckPhoto by Timothy Schenck