Audrey Niffenegger and Faith Ringgold: Sending Messages

I was fortunate enough to visit the Audrey Niffenegger and Faith Ringgold show this summer, and agree that the National Museum of Women in the Arts’ blog review is spot on. At first the two artists seem almost too stylistically dichotomous to cohesively show together. Ringgold’s work has strong themes of the struggles of black Americans in the 60s using bold, flat colors while Niffenegger’s work focuses on beautiful yet twisted images, favoring birds, women, and flowers. Check out the review to see how these two artists similarly use text within their work. And if you’re interested in Faith Ringgold’s work (or would like to see her quilts which were unfortunately absent from the exhibit) check out this post I wrote on the artist a few years ago.

Broad Strokes: The National Museum of Women in the Arts' Blog

At first glance, the two exhibitions on view this summer at NMWA, Awake in the Dream World: The Art of Audrey Niffenegger and American People, Black Light: Faith Ringgold’s Paintings of the 1960s (both on view through November 10) could not feature the work of two more stylistically dichotomous artists.

At one extreme, Audrey Niffenegger conjures up surreal, minimalist depictions of the bizarre, absurd, and nightmarish that speak to her introspective, whimsical approach to art—images that boast figures minutely rendered with delicately drawn lines, muted color palettes, and which allow insight into the artist’s deeply personal fantasies. At the other end of the spectrum is Faith Ringgold, whose bold, colorful, passionate paintings from her American People and Black Light series of the 1960s function on both a personal and political level. Ringgold’s work bravely probed racial tensions from the perspective of a black woman artist during an era when art…

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