Faith Ringgold at the Musée Picasso

What could be the connection between Pablo Picasso and Faith Ringgold, a major figure in American feminist art?

The flag is bleeding

Faith Ringold was born in 1930 and raised in a middle-class home in Harlem. Her mother, the fashion designer Madame Willi Posey, taught her needlework and took her on the first of her museum-haunting trips to Europe. Picasso was her first and main inspiration. Through her rereadings of modern art history, she engaged in a genuine, critical and humorous dialogue with the Parisian art scene of the early 20th century, particularly with Picasso and his “Demoiselles d’Avignon“.

Picasso’s Studio

Ringgold is especially known for her paintings and mosaics, her sculptures and quilted pieces. She is also the author of some lovely works in children’s literature. In her work, the artist shows the difficulties and unfairness impacting the most underprivileged classes and the Black communities in the United States, and showcases her support for the civil rights movement.

Photo: Google

Ringgold studied at the City College of New York from 1948 to 1955. As the fine arts program was closed to women, she enrolled in art education. But this did not prevent her from learning the principles of her art from the painter Robert Gwathmey, known for his refusal to tolerate racist prejudices. Educated and passionate, she was interested in European artists and especially the Parisian art scene from the early 20th century, the golden age for artists from all around the world who gathered in the City of Lights

The Café des Artistes. We can discern artists like Van Gogh, Utrillo, Toulouse-Lautrec, Romare Bearden and others. The girl is Faith herself.

This was a fascinating restrospective extending the one devoted to her by the New Museum in early 2022 and organized in collaboration with this New York institution.

The Quilting Bee: notice a disapproving Van Gogh lurking with a bunch of sunflowers

Her painted quilts are marvelous creations, depicting known figures of her time in familiar settings. They are full of references and allusions. Sometimes she collaborated on them with her mother, who made the embroidered edges.

Tar Beach tells the story of a little girl who is taken to the roof of her building to espcape the heat, and dreams of flying over the city

This was a lovely, unusual exhibition. If you are anywhere near Paris, do not miss!

6 thoughts on “Faith Ringgold at the Musée Picasso”

  1. Dear ML, thank you for the tip, as I’ve never heard of this artist, like her work and I happen to live near Paris, so I’m going and I think your exquisite commentary is great!


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