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Jeffrey Deitch
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Faith Ringgold at Jeffrey Deitch


A retrospective of artist Faith Ringgold, who was born in 1930s Harlem, is on view at Jeffrey Deitch, showcasing the bold range of art produced over her prolific career. From early figurative paintings on canvas to sculptural dolls, to he well-known quilt works, the work on view ranges from the 60’s to pieces made as recent as last year. 

The 92-year old artist pioneered a form of quilt-making (inspired by African and African American quilting techniques taught to her by her mother and grandmother) that blends figurative painting with diaristic story-telling. Her narrative quilts, like the well-known Tar Beach (1988) (which she also made into a children’s book in the ‘90s), tells the story of a young black girl from Harlem who dreams she is flying through the city and over the George Washington bridge. In this way, Ringgold’s work involves narratives of freedom, liberation, and imagination. 

Other bodies of work are more overtly political, like the offset lithograph, United States of Attica (1972), that documents race-based violence and uprisings over a map of the United States. This political edge remains a constant throughout the work, even in the narrative quilts that boldly tell the types of vulnerable stories (both personal and fictional) that historically have been overlooked.

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Photo: Faith Ringgold, Tar Beach #2 (detail) (1990-92). Image Courtesy of the artist and Jeffrey Deitch. Photo: Joshua White.