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Artist Nell Painter
2018 Art Events
Nell published an art review of “Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power” in the New York Review Daily, in two parts:
Brodsky Center Series Acquired by Additional Museum
Swampy Land by the River Don, 2018
August 2018: Time for me to sit down and finally make some art after two months on the road promoting my new book, Old in Art School: A Memoir of Starting Over. Ah! A return to the simple enjoyment of making images. Let me go back to line and color and the joy of mark-making on paper.
Rummaging through my archive of images, I found an old map from my research at the Beinecke Library at Yale in 2012, when I was painting my Odalisque Atlas series. In 2018 I just liked the way it looked, this 18th-century map of a section of the Don River in Russia. It was the appearance of the thing that attracted me. I made a little 7" x 5" lino print and colored about a dozen by hand using ink, acrylic, and collage. I had a very good time.
After I colored my lino prints, I checked into the history just out of curiosity. I can never get very far from my love of history. And it turns out my prints have quite a back story with relevance beyond the Black Sea.
A centuries old, major commercial route, the Don River in Russia ends at the port of Azov (also called Tana) on the northern part of the Black Sea known as the Sea of Azov. For many centuries before 1900, the principal export through the port of Azov was live merchandise supplied by Cossacks.
Cossacks captured their live merchandise by harvesting the steppe. Harvesting the steppe? This was raiding the peasants of the steppe between Poland, Ukraine, and Russia for people to sell to the rich eastern Mediterranean, especially to the Ottomans. But it wasn’t just Cossacks in this kind of business.
If you know anything about the Atlantic slave trade, you’ll recognize this business model. Harvesting the steppe for live merchandise was exactly the kind of raiding that delivered millions of hapless African peasants into the Atlantic slave trade, where ports along the west coast of Africa played the part of Azov/Tana with the Atlantic Ocean as the Black Sea.
Année Infâme, 2018
For more links to Nell Painter's art, please also see:
Read about Nell's Art Events
View Nell's Art (by year produced)
Bathroom Book for Meena, 2013, collage on paper, 6” x 39”
Digital self-portrait, 2013, digital image on paper, 19” x 13”
CWCW User 86 Profile Image, 2013, digital collage on paper, 12” x 12”
CRC images, 2013, digital images, dimensions vary
Beloveds, 2013, digital collages on paper, each 5-1/2" x 5-1/2”
Art History Volume XXVII by Nell Painter, Ancestral Arts, 2013. Artist’s book, “Staples Edition,” 8 x 9-1/2” each page. Larger format T/K
Black Sea Composite Maps 2012
Black Sea Composite Map 4
Black Sea Composite Map 8
Fall 2011 Art
In November-December 2008 Nell Painter created a series of paintings inspired by Brooklyn photographs by Lucille Fornasieri-Gold in the Brooklyn Historical Society. Here are four from that series, ink and gouache on paper, all 22" x 30".
Read about Nell's Art Events
2017 Art Events
Nell's interview in Art in Print: Nell Painter: Working In The Year 2017
Video of Nell's interview with Carol Jenkins on CUNY Television's Black America series on April 26, 2017, "Black America - Through a Painter's Eye with Nell Painter": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_b6qwX9f0c&t=6s
2014 Art Events
The French group Les Amis de Beauford Delaney protect the memory of the great American painter who lived and died in France. They discovered that Nell Painter had made work inspired by Beauford Delaney.
NJTV video interviews include Nell Painter and shows her work. NJTV visits Emerge 11, an exhibit of 21 artists at Aljira, A Center for Contemporary Art, in downtown Newark, New Jersey. Emerge is a group art show and also a professional development program for artists. NJTV spoke with the founding directior and five of the Emerge 11 artists, including Nell Painter. (Published on Oct 23, 2014)
Nell Painter is mentioned in a review of the Emerge 11 group show in the Star-Ledger newspaper (Art Review: Emerge 11 at Aljira, A Center for Contemporary Art, in Newark). Here is an excerpt from that review, discussing Nell's work:
"I think there's a lot of heart in this show," says Jorge Rojas, the independent curator who organized "Emerge 11," though he didn't choose the artists. The show is one of the rewards for acceptance into the program. "There's a lot of handwork. Most of the artists are younger than I am, but there's also Nell Painter. She had a distinguished career as a historian at Princeton University, concentrating in 19th century Southern American history, and then she decided to pursue a career in art, and went through the Rhode Island School of Design. And now she's showing these hypnotic abstractions based on an archival photograph of a dog fight in Brooklyn in the 1970s. You can still see the dogs, but they're like a memory buried in the picture."
The entire Star-Ledger review can be read here:
Nell was on a panel discussion on poetic process, cultural translation, and aesthetic collaboration at The Center for the Humanities, CUNY, Mar 5, 2014: "Birthplace with Buried Stones."
2013 Art Events
Nell in her studio with some of her artwork on the Newark Arts website: by Colleen Gutwein, Newark Arts Photo Documentary Project, https://www.newarkartsphotodoc.com/dr-nell-painter.
2012 Art Events
In spring 2012 Nell was artist-and-scholar in residence in the Department of African American Studies at Yale University. Her new art project was Odalisque Atlas (beauty + sex + slavery): http://afamstudies.yale.edu/news/nell-irvin-painter-2012-visiting-fellow-afam-studies
Evonne Davis, Nell, and Glenn Shafer at an opening at Aferro, an artist-run space in downtown Newark where Nell was an artist in residence 2011-2012. Evonne and Emma Wilcox run Aferro, which has been in its present location on Market Street for more than five years.
2011 Art Events
Nell Painter has earned her MFA in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design!
Charles Botsman-Feimster beside Nell's painting Back Man 1 in the RISD 2011 MFA show.
Nell's studio at the Rhode Island School of Design in the winter of 2011, with Lucille Fornasieri-Gold's photos on the wall with Nell's paintings.
2009 Art Events
Nell received a BFA degree in painting from the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers-the State University of New Jersey in May 2009 (while she was actually serving as a visiting professor at the University of Rome Tre). As the Virtual Artist in Residence of the Creative Research Center of Montclair State University in New Jersey, her work can be seen at http://www.montclair.edu/creativeresearch/index.html.
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