Convictions VI is an abstract representation of the US flag that invites reflection on the traditional flag’s varying symbolism within Black America, historically and today. After investigating the Civil War and Reconstruction era, Edmonds expressed awe at some “formerly enslaved” peoples’ “complete ownership” of the flag and their “[commitment] to American ideals.” Her painting is composed of colors based on brown skin tones that call for a new, more inclusive reading of Americanness that breaks from the use of the American flag, in Edmonds’s words, as a “tool of violent exclusion” by White supremacists. Her flag’s vertical orientation suggests a portrait. The range of colors and bands of paint assert a plurality of identities that compose the United States.
Lisa Crossman, 2020
painting; flags; abstract; symbolism
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