Mixing MetaphorsThe Aesthetic, the Social and the Political in African American Art, Works from the Bank of America Collection

October 5, 2013 – January 5, 2014

Above: Gordon Parks (American, 1912-2006), Untitled, Miami, Florida, 1970, Gelatin silver print, Collection of the Bank of America ©, The Gordon Parks Foundation, Courtesy The Gordon Parks Foundation

Curated by art historian and photographer Deborah Willis, Mixing Metaphors is composed of more than 90 paintings, prints, drawings, photographs, sculptures and mixed media works by thirty-six artists. Willis explores visual metaphor through the artists’ varied experiences, visions and techniques. Body politics, race, class and gender are a few of the topics that surface in these works of art, which depict moments from the extraordinary to the mundane. The title Mixing Metaphors is used to highlight ways in which art and storytelling illuminate and cross reference real life stories and experiences. Art often serves as an instrument of memory, as a means of interpreting ideas and exploring visual metaphor. To illustrate this concept, the exhibition is organized into three thematic sections: Reflections and Likeness, Constructing Place and Rituals of Existence. This structure is designed to foster critical thinking, provide social context and promote discussion about the images within each section. Some of the artists base their work on stories about family life, while others reflect on ideas about music and love. Others use the formal aspects of line, color and shape in their explorations. Still others document experiences that transformed the twentieth century and inspired the next generation. Provided by the Bank of America Art in our Communities® program.

Bank of America [Converted]