May 2 – June 2, 2014
Since the early 1960s, Faith Ringgold has been known 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 has 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.
Organized by Cecilia Alemani, Donald R. Mullen, Jr. Director & Chief Curator.
Photos by Timothy Schenck.
Faith Ringgold (b. 1930, New York) lives and works in Englewood, New Jersey. Recent solo exhibitions include the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C. (2013); Pérez Art Museum Miami (2011 – 2012); John Jay College, New York (2011); and Neuberger Berman Museum, New York (2010). Notable traveling group exhibitions include Art, Activism and Civil Rights in the 1960s, traveling to the Blanton Museum of Art, Austin (2015); Hood Museum of Art, Hannover, New Hampshire (2015); and the Brooklyn Museum, New York (2014); For All the World to See: Visual Culture and the Struggle for Civil Rights, traveling to the Center for Art, Design, and Visual Culture, University of Maryland Baltimore County (2010); the International Center of Photography, New York (2010); and the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. (2011). Ringgold has been the recipient of numerous awards including the National Endowment for the Arts Award for Sculpture (1978, 1988); the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship for Painting (1987); Faith Ringgold Day Proclamation, Office of the Mayor City of Newark (1993); and the NAACP Image Award (1999).
High Line Art is presented by Friends of the High Line and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation. Major support for High Line Art comes from Donald R. Mullen, Jr. and the Brown Foundation, Inc. of Houston, with additional funding provided by David Zwirner Gallery, and Vital Projects Fund, Inc. High Line Art is supported, in part, with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. In-kind support provided by Maharam.
Space for High Line Billboard is donated by ParkFast.com.