Incarnations: Black Spiritualities in American Art engages the diverse expression of Christian devotion in the quotidian experience of a selection of African American artists and their imagined or recollected subjects. The featured works expand, challenge, and critique notions of a sacred/profane divide and exemplify the multiple ways artists have interpreted the culturally-constructed systemics of ethnicity, religion, and community.
In both the making and the viewing of these works, artist and audience negotiate the implicit and explicit bounds of grace in a complex, cultural landscape. Within a varied program of visual representations, Incarnations brings together works that exegete scriptural texts, wrestle with the concept of theodicy, and situate the church at the heart of Black political and communal life. Etchings, linocuts, mixed media collage, lithographs, and silkscreen prints come together within the exhibition to map the tangible realities inherent in the material mysteries of Christian ritual and belief.
The installation of Incarnations: Black Spiritualities in American Art at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music coincides with the opening of Embodied: Black Identities in American Art, a traveling student-curated exhibition on view at the Yale University Art Gallery. We intend the two exhibitions to enter into visual and spatial conversation on campus. Both shows are made possible through the generous collaboration of the Jean and Robert E. Steele Collection and the David C. Driskell Center for the Study of the Visual Arts and Culture of African Americans and the African Diaspora at the University of Maryland.
Guest Curator: Jonathan Frederick Walz,
Associate Guest Curator: Horace D. Ballard, Jr. (MAR '10)
Installation Coordinators: Rebecca Henriksen (MAR '10) and Jonathan Jones (MAR '11)