Rockwell Hall, Broadbent Gallery, Kent, United States 10 Sep 2021 - 07 Aug 2022
Mary Sibande, Sophie Velucia in conversation with Madam CJ Walker, 2009, Fiberglass, resin, cotton and synthetic hair embroidered on canvas. Courtesy of Artist and SMAC Gallery.
TEXTURES synthesizes research in history, fashion, art, and visual culture to reassess the “hair story” of peoples of African descent. Long a fraught topic for African Americans and others in the diaspora, Black hair is here addressed by artists, barbers, and activists in both its historical perceptions and its ramifications for self and society today. Combs, products, and implements from the collection of hair pioneer Willie Morrow are paired here with masterworks from artists including James Van Der Zee, Sonya Clark, Lorna Simpson, Mary Sibande and Zanele Muholi. Exploring topics such as the preferential treatment of straight hair, the social hierarchies of skin, and the power and politics of display, TEXTURES is a landmark exploration of Black hair and its important, complicated place in the history of African American life and culture.
The exhibition is organized by the KSU Museum with co-curators, Joseph L. Underwood, assistant professor of art history at KSU and Tameka Ellington, associate professor at the School of Fashion at KSU.