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Opening Reception: Oct. 26, 5-7 p.m.

Gallery talk led by Dr. Jordana Saggese, Nov. 10 at 5 p.m.

Artist talk with contributing artist Lisa Corinne Davis (online), Nov. 16 at 5 p.m.

Review | JMU "Exuberance exhibition brings African American abstractionism to the forefront (The Breeze)

Exuberance: Dialogues in African American Abstract Painting

Exhibition Celebrates the Dynamic Legacy of Abstraction in African American Painting

Featured works collected from several galleries span 70 years

EXUBERANCE: Dialogues in African American Abstract Painting
Exhibition Dates: Oct. 26-Dec. 10
Opening Reception: Tuesday, Oct. 26, 5-7 p.m. (opening remarks at 5 p.m.)
Public Program:

  • Wednesday, Nov. 10, 5 p.m., History and Politics of African American Painting: In-Person Conversation with Dr. Jordana Saggese, Duke Gallery Court
  • Tuesday, Nov. 16, 5 p.m., Artist Talk with Lisa Corinne Davis, online

The upcoming exhibition at Duke Hall Gallery of Fine Art,Exuberance: Dialogues in African American Abstract Painting,celebrates African American painters and challenges commonly held mindsets about abstract art and who makes it. Abstract paintings by African American artists have often been overlooked and omitted from the history of art presented by white scholars and white-dominated art institutions, yet their works have contributed powerfully to the field of painting. This focused presentation of paintings will feature a range of works from the 1950s to present day, forging cross-generational dialogues about racial identity, dynamics of color and pattern, as well as rhythm, movement, and breath. This exhibition is sponsored by F&M Bank.

Featured artists include Charles Burwell, Nanette Carter, Lisa Corinne Davis, Lamerol Gatewood, Rico Gatson, Felrath Hines, Norman Lewis, Erika Ranee, Ronald Walton, Benjamin Wigfall and Susan Zurbrigg. Lenders to the exhibition include the Virginia Museum of Fine Art, the Ackland Museum of Art at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Berry Campbell Gallery, Bridgette Mayer Gallery, Jenkins Johnson Gallery New York and San Francisco, Miles McEnery Gallery and Walton Gallery.

Public programming will include a discussion Nov. 10 at 5 p.m. about of the history and politics of African American painting led by Dr. Jordana Saggese, associate professor at the University of Maryland and award-winning author of Reading Basquiat: Exploring Ambivalence in American Art. Contributing artist Lisa Corinne Davis will offer an online artist talk on Nov. 16 at 5 p.m. The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with scholarly essays and selected bibliography.

Exuberance is co-curated by Susan Zurbrigg and Dr. Beth Hinderliter. Zurbrigg is a nationally exhibited artist, educator and activist. She is assistant dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts at JMU and a professor of art. Hinderliter is director of the Duke Hall Gallery of Fine Art and an associate professor of art history. Her book, More Than Our Pain: Affect and Emotion in the Era of Black Lives Matter, was published by SUNY Press in 2021.

Exhibition Sponsored by:

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