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Maker(s):Bailey, Radcliffe
Culture:American (1968-2023)
Date Made:2012
Materials:Gouache, collage, and ink on sheet music
Measurements:Frame: 22 1/4 in x 18 3/4 in x 1 1/2 in; 56.5 cm x 47.6 cm x 3.8 cm; Sheet/Image: 12 1/8 in x 9 in; 30.8 cm x 22.9 cm
Narrative Inscription:  ARTIST'S INITIALS/DATE: recto, lwr. r. (black ink): RB 11/7/12
Accession Number:  UM 2014.6
Credit Line:Purchased with Art Acquistion Funds
Museum Collection:  University Museum of Contemporary Art at UMASS Amherst

Label Text:
Exhibtion label text from Faint/Hidden/Shrouded: Contemplating Obscurity (March 27-May 10, 2024):
Radcliffe Bailey’s work intertwines themes of memory, music, Afrofuturism, and Black cultural identity. Thick layers of paint surround a central paper cutout of an African sculpture. Colors swirl against dark layers of paint, obscuring the sheet music hidden below. From the ribbons of purple, pink, orange, and green, erupt long plant stalks and bursts of reds and blues. Vector arrows call the viewer’s attention to cardinal points – north, south, east, and west.

Bailey uses each medium - gouache, acrylic, and sheet music - as a pathway to add meaning and to address his own past as well as the collective history of Black Americans. The object at the center of the work can be considered a “container of memory” through which he can explore meaning and history. Symbolic of colonial violence, forced migration, subjugation, and the removal of cultural objects, the African sculpture is suspended by motion and erratic energy calling the viewer to consider Black futures. - Graduate curators: Ruthie Baker, MFA Studio Arts; Simone Cambridge, MA History of Art & Architecture; and Olivia Haynes PhD in the W.E.B. DuBois Department of Afro-American Studies, UMASS

Exhibition Label, 40 Years / 40 Artists, January 22–March 8, 2015:
Radcliffe Bailey’s mixed media collages present evocative investigations of history, memory, experience, culture, and imagination. Pages of sheet music are nearly
obscured by swirling washes of color, creating regal scenes on which images of classical African sculptures are layered. - Loretta Yarlow

Speak to Me of Rivers: An Exploration of Race, Identity, and Lived Experience in African American Culture; February 12 - March 3, 2019:
“The day by day experience of art, even though my work may seem to have this layer of history, it is also a cover for what I’m dealing with on a day to day. It’s very much about today. We were talking about where I go next: I’m still thinking about today and yesterday and what’s coming in front of me tomorrow. It’s my attitude to my studio practice.” — Radcliffe Bailey

folklore; memory; music; politics; race; African American

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