Luis De Jesus Los Angeles is very pleased to announce our participation in The Armory Show 2020 with a solo presentation of new Flag Paintings by June Edmonds in the main Galleries section on Pier 94, Booth 827.
We are also thrilled to announce that June Edmonds has been shortlisted for the inaugural AWARE Prize. The Armory Show is partnering with the Paris nonprofit Archives of Women Artists: Research and Exhibitions (AWARE) which aims to highlight the contributions of women artists to 20th and 21st century art. The AWARE Prize will recognize the best booth dedicated to a solo presentation of a female artist, awarding $10,000 to the artist or her estate.
June Edmonds’s Flag Paintings explore the American flag as a malleable symbol of ideals and promises, and the alignment of multiple identities such as race, nationality, gender, or political leanings. Of critical importance, as well, is her interest in redefining traditional Western color theory. Exploring the psychological construct of skin color or tone through pattern and abstraction has proven to be a revealing gesture. Color associations can be connected to culturally symbolic imagery and emotion, and are thus able to communicate about power and systemic disenfranchisement.
Edmonds's Flag Paintings are created through methodically applied sculptural paint strokes in columns of varying widths. The titles of the paintings make direct allusion to lesser-known African Americans and their stories, and the palette is derived from the spectrum of black skin complexions, which in themselves embody the narrative of the global geopolitical diaspora of which American history is such a touchstone. They are vertically oriented as portraits because, as the artist says, they "stand for something" and directly express the degree to which the black body is actually the subject of the project.
Among the paintings to be presented at The Armory Show are the Shadd Cary Flag and Capitol Chasm Flag. Mary Ann Shadd Cary was born a free African American woman in Wilmington, Delaware in 1823, and was an American and Canadian anti-slavery activist, journalist, publisher, teacher, and lawyer. She was the first Black woman publisher in North America and the first woman publisher in Canada. Shadd Cary was an abolitionist who became the first female African-American newspaper editor in North America when she edited The Provincial Freeman in 1853.
Press / VIP Preview:
Wednesday, March 4th, 12:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Open to the Public:
Thursday, March 5th, 12:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Friday, March 6th, 12:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, March 7th, 12:00 to 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, March 8th, 12:00 to 6:00 p.m.
Capitol Chasm Flag is named after Mary Eliza Church Terrell. Terrell was born on September 23, 1863 in Memphis, and was a well-known African American activist who championed civil rights and women's suffrage in the late 19th and 20th century. An Oberlin College graduate, Terrell was a founder and charter member of the NAACP. She said: "Surely nowhere in the world do oppression and persecution based solely on the color of the skin appear more hateful and hideous than in the capital of the United States, because the chasm between the principles upon which this Government was founded, in which it still professes to believe, and those which are daily practiced under the protection of the flag, yawn so wide and deep."
June Edmonds was born in 1959 in Los Angeles, where she lives and works. Edmonds received an MFA from Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, a BA from San Diego State University, and also attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Skowhegan, ME. She is the recipient of a number of awards and residencies, including a 2018 City of Los Angeles Individual Artist Fellowship (COLA); California Arts Council Individual Artist Grant; Paducah Artist Residency in Kentucky; Helene Wurlitzer Foundation Artist Residency in Taos, NM; and Dorland Mountain Community Artist Residency in Temecula, CA.
Edmonds has exhibited widely at venues including the Davis Museum of Art, Wellesley College; California African American Museum, Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Luckman Fine Art Gallery at CalState Los Angeles; Watts Tower Art Center in Los Angeles, Occidental College, Los Angeles; West Los Angeles College, Angels Gate Art Center in San Pedro, CA, and Manhattan Beach Art Center in Manhattan Beach, CA. Her work can be found in the collections of the Davis Museum of Art, Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA; California African American Museum, Los Angeles; Pizzuti Collection, Columbus, OH, and many prominent private collections throughout the U.S. Edmonds has completed several public art projects for the city of Los Angeles and the Department of Cultural Affairs, including a permanent installation at the MTA Pacific Station in Long Beach, CA.