April 2004

Keith Morris Washington

Within Our Gates: Human Sacrifice in the American Landscape

April 2 - 23

Keith Morris Washington, 1999
Dan Pippen and A.T. Harding: Road Side: Near Bibb County Line: Woodstock, Alabama. oil and acrylic on linen, 76" x 96".
Since the late 1990's Boston artist, Keith Morris Washington, has produced a series of landscape paintings in the manner of the 19th century Hudson River School 'Luminists'. These beautifully accomplished works, as opposed to their historical models, shed light on a subtext of America and not merely the idealized facade.

What seem to be lovely trees and nostalgic settings, redolent of all that is 'good' in this country, are in fact the locations of lynchings, and hate crimes; which he terms 'human sacrifice'; and which he also points out continue in new guises today. His paintings are, in fact, conceptual 'cul de sacs' which interrogate our history and values and illuminate how far we must go toward equality and reconciliation in the 'landscape' of the contemporary world.

Washington is a faculty member of the Massachusetts College of Art. His works have been shown at the Museum of the National Center of Afro-American Artists in Boston; the Aidekman Arts Center, Tufts University, and the Cinque Gallery in New York; among others. This exhibit is presented in cooperation with Providence's E.M. Bannister Society, the R.I. College African and Afro-American Studies Program, and the R.I. College Committee on Diversity.

Introduction by Dennis O'Malley, Director, Bannister Gallery
Panelists - Prof. Robert Cvornyek, Dept. of History, RI College.
Prof. Robert Dilworth, Dept. of Art, University of R.I.
Prof. Carolyn Fluehr-Lobban, Dept. of Anthropology, RI College.
Prof. Richard Lobban, Dept. of Anthropology, RI College.
Prof. Daniel Scott, African and Afro-American Studies, Dept. of English, RI College.

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