|  October 10, 2021

Cleveland artist Amanda King’s show at Karamu communicates quiet outrage against racism, injustice

Art emerges from personal experience, but it also needs to speak on its own terms without too much explanation by the artist.

Amanda King, an influential Cleveland artist, activist, and advocate for social justice achieves compelling moments in her first solo exhibition, on view at Karamu House, the East Side’s historic theater and arts center, through Friday, Oct. 22.

At times, though, King’s symbolism veers into personal or historical territory that requires an assist from a text she provides in the gallery.

Yet if the show doesn’t always speak as clearly as it might about anti-Black racism, faith, family history, it reveals King as an artist who communicates outrage, passion and hope with a restrained minimal approach. She could shout, but she chooses to whisper, which makes you lean in and listen more closely.

Entitled “God is Anti-racist (GiA-r), composition no. 1,” the show comprises 19 objects or clusters of objects that transform a lobby outside Karamu’s recently renovated main theater into the virtual nave of a church.

The works on view include found objects, conventional color photographs, and silkscreen prints based on black-and-white photos of family members or cultural figures such as Huey Newton, co-founder of the Black Panthers, and Kirk Franklin, the crossover gospel and hip-hop artist prominent in the 1990s.

By Steven Litt,

Original Article

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