Art And Race Matters: The Career Of Robert Colescott
Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR - Feb 15 – May 17
Robert Colescott (1925-2009) reintroduced the figure into his abstract work under the influence of Fernand Léger in Paris and found his voice after seeing the works of ancient Egypt in the flesh. He was championed in Portland by gallerist and philanthropist Arlene Schnitzer in the 1960s and ’70s. He reworked masterpieces such as Pablo Picasso’s 1907 Les Demoiselles d’Avignon by blackfacing some of the female figures. His provocative focus on casual racism of the 20th century has aged well; now his work is an easy lesson for the dominant class to see the errors of their parents’ ways.