12 Apr 2018

Jeff Donaldson: Dig

Everson Museum of Art

Reviewed by Joel Winkelman

Jeff Donaldson's stunning afrofuturist collage works are the centerpiece of his first museum retrospective. Set on corrugated cardboard, these densely packed pieces place figure drawings within fields of brightly colored geometric patterns. Sharp points contrast with human curves, lending each work a disorienting depth and ambiguous perspective. Close looking reveals a surprising amount of detail on the camouflaged figures. From a distance, the repetition of geometry dominates.

Donaldson's acrylic works of the 1980s and '90s, also featured here, share with the collage pieces repeated, colorful patterns, his self-described transAfrican aesthetic. They are more relaxed and spacious, featuring more fully revealed figures, that of musicians at work. In One for Bear Den (1991), a harpist plays against soft pastels, orbited by geometric flowers and lines. It's a celebration of great black music, from ancient times to the future.

Exhibition Jeff Donaldson: Dig link
Start date 20 Jan 2018
End date 29 Apr 2018
Presenter Everson Museum of Art link
Venue 401 Harrison Street, Syracuse, NY, USA map
Image Jeff Donaldson, Majorities, 1977, mixed media, 44 x 36 inches, courtesy of Kravets Wehby Gallery, New York and the Everson Museum of Art

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