June 29, 2007

Faith Ringgold at the National Portait Gallery

Last week in Washington DC, I had the pleasure of seeing with my own eyes some of Faith Ringgold's famous story quilts at the National Portait Gallery. Her work is so refreshing, both in the freedom of her style and in her ability to blur those heavy lines between craft and fine art. Tar Beach, one of her children's books, illustrates the power of a child's imagination to lift her off her Harlem rooftop and send her flying over the George Washington Bridge. The work does reproduce beautifully in print, of course, but there's nothing quite like being in the same room as a quilt (if there's no chance of being able to touch it) and I cherished for the opportunity.

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