Faith Ringgold: American People

Phaidon. Mar. 2022. 240p. ed. by Massimiliano Gioni & Gary Carrion-Murayari. ISBN 9781838664220. $79.95. FINE ARTS
This well-illustrated catalogue accompanying a show at New York’s New Museum is a retrospective of almost 70 years of the work of Faith Ringgold (b. 1930). It brings together new scholarship and creative reflection by artists, curators, and historians. Their readable essays offer a comprehensive look at her career and highlight Ringgold’s importance in using her art to tell stories about the United States and her place in it as a Black woman, an artist, an educator, an activist, and a mother. This volume provides a good overview for those unfamiliar with Ringgold’s work and her artistic mission to “give our lives the broad context and not limit ourselves to somebody else’s picture of who we are.” Ringgold uses her varied media (painting; vernacular quilting; doll making; children’s book writing; African American storytelling) to share her experiences and theories of what art is, as this volume explains. Its texts include endnotes, and there’s also a list of contributors, a biography of the artist, a checklist of works in the exhibition, and a table of contents. This review is based on a pre-publication PDF, therefore image and binding quality are unknown.
VERDICT Will appeal to those interested in artistic inclusivity and artistic expression, especially through textile art.
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