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Afro Blue Matter

Artist: Sonya Clark (March 23 1967 – ) Primary
Artist: Gustavo Garcia (Mexico, 1990 – ) Printer
Artist: Brandywine Workshop and Archive Publisher
Date: 2017
21st century
Dimensions: 21 1/2 x 30 1/2 in. (546.1 x 774.7 mm)
Dimensions Extent: sheet
Object Type: Print
Creation Place: North America, United States
Medium and Support: Offset lithograph on paper
Edition Size: 70
Credit Line: Partial gift of the Brandywine Workshop and Archives and Museum Purchase with funds from the Black Art Fund, 2022.
Accession Number: 2022.17.10
On View: Bellarmine Hall Galleries

From the Artist:

"This piece...honors the great Mongo Santamaria, [John] Coltrane, BLM [Black Lives Matter], and the legacy of racial injustice that led to the movement, the dark matter that makes up the majority of the universe, and [our] ancestors' DNA in our hair. It is about space. The space of the universe, the space between the teeth of the comb. The space between musical notes. Comb through space and you find our essence and the roots of culture.

I use craft and materials to investigate identity. Simple objects become cultural interfaces. Through them I navigate accord and discord. When trying to unravel complex issues, I am instinctively drawn to things that connect to my personal narrative as a point of departure: a comb or a strand of hair. Charged with agency, simple objects have the mysterious ability to reflect or absorb us. I find my image, my personal story, in an object. But it is also the object’s ability to act as a rhizome, the multiple ways in which it can be discovered or read by a wide audience that draws me in. To sustain my practice, I milk the object, its potential, its image, and its materiality. I manipulate the object in a formal manner to engage the viewer in conversation about collective meaning. If we unravel a cloth together, what do we learn in the process? What is the connection between combs, hair, and textiles? Can a strand of hair tell a life story or a whole cultural history? I trust that my stories, your stories, our stories are held in the object. In this way, the everyday “thing” becomes a lens through which we may better see one another. A visual vocabulary derived from object and image forms a language ranging from the vernacular to the political to the poetic."
—From Brandywine Workshop and Archives records

To learn more about this work, see it on , an open educational resource from the Brandywine Workshop and Archives.


Fairfield University Art Museum, Fairfield, Connecticut, In Their Element(s): Women Artists Across Media, April 21-July 15, 2023


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Black Art Fund
FUAM's Black Art Fund is a fundraising initiative to support the acquisition of artwork by contemporary Black artists, to address a major gap in the museum’s permanent collection. The museum is accepts both financial contributions to this fund to be used for purchases of artwork as well as donations of museum quality artworks to achieve greater representation and recognition of non-white artists and artworks.
Period and styles of painting, sculpture, graphic arts, and architecture dating from the recent past and present. It differs from modern art in that the term 'Contemporary art' does not carry the implication of a non-traditional style, but instead refers only to the time period in which the work was created. 'Modern' and 'Contemporary' are inherently fluid terms. The term 'Contemporary' is sometimes more narrowly used to refer to art from ca. 1960 or 1970 up to the present. To refer to the current time period without reference to style of art, use "contemporary (generic time frame)".
Pictorial works produced by transferring images by means of a matrix such as a plate, block, or screen, using any of various printing processes. When emphasizing the individual printed image, use "impressions." Avoid the controversial expression "original prints," except in reference to discussions of the expression's use. If prints are neither "reproductive prints" nor "popular prints," use the simple term "prints." With regard to photographs, prefer "photographic prints"; for types of reproductions of technical drawings and documents, see terms found under "reprographic copies."
Genre of visual arts in which figurative subjects or other forms are simplified or changed in their representation so that they do not portray a recognizable person, object, thing, etc.; may reference an idea, quality, or state rather than a concrete object. For the process of formulating general concepts by abstracting common properties of instances, prefer "abstraction." For 20th-century art styles that were a reaction against the traditional European conception of art as the imitation of nature, use "Abstract (fine arts style)."

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