Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts Unveils ‘Whitfield Lovell: Passages’ Exhibition

The Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts is gearing up for its second season in the newly reimagined space at MacArthur Park with a brand new, experiential exhibition.

“Whitfield Lovell: Passages” opens Friday, Oct. 27, and invites guests to “consider the physical passage of time, its effect on memory and the reception of our collective history.” The exhibit focuses on Black history with drawings inspired by photographs of unidentified African Americans taken between the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation and the 1950s and ’60s Civil Rights Movement.

Lovell, born in 1959 in Bronx, New York, is a conceptual artist known for his thought-provoking drawings, assemblages and installations. Works seen in “Passages” are executed on paper or salvaged wooden boards, which Lovell then pairs with found objects and incorporates into standalone tableaux or multimedia installations.

Lovell is a recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship “genius grant” and is recognized as one of the world’s most significant contemporary artists. The new exhibit includes “Deep River,” “Visitation: The Richmond Project,” pieces from the artist’s “Kin” series, drawings from his “Card Pieces” series and his latest series “The Reds.” It will be open to the public the day after Lovell gives an Artist Talk at AMFA on Oct. 26 at 6 p.m.

“Lovell’s work examines themes of identity, history, memory and the African American experience. His projected and staged installations, drawings of anonymous individuals and thoughtful use of found objects create a multi-sensory experience that will compel and transport visitors to connect with the art and their own experiences,” says Dr. Victoria Ramirez, executive director of the AMFA. “Lovell’s art will transform the AMFA galleries and engage viewers’ mind and spirit. We are privileged to bring the show to Arkansas.”

Along with Lovell’s work, AMFA will unveil other solo exhibitions this fall and in the spring of 2024, including artists Rhea Storr, Risa Hricovsky and Lillian Schwartz. Visitors will enjoy fresh rotations of the AMFA Foundation Collection in a new context, in addition to the new exhibitions “Path to Abstraction: Picasso, Braque, and Cubism’s Impact on Modern Art,” “Action/Abstraction Redefined: Modern Native Art, 1940s to 1970s” and the “Delta Triennial.” 

“Passages” will be on view in the Harriet and Warren Stephens Galleries from Oct. 27 through Jan. 14, 2024.

Admission to the AMFA is free, so plan your visit now to see “Passages” by learning more here. For more information, visit the AMFA website, Facebook and Instagram pages.

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