Perspectives: Figuration and Abstraction in Contemporary Black Art / Calls & Submissions

September 18, 2022

Organization Name: ARC Gallery

Organization Location: Chicago, IL

Type: Calls & Submissions

Fee: $30+


Juror: Spencer Hutchinson, MFA UIC 2020

For nearly the entire history of Black artists’ existence in the U.S. and throughout the western world, Black art has been largely defined by what Darby English refers to as Black representational space. Even visual artists as unconventional as Jean Michel Basquiat frame the representation of the black body as the center of their art making. Recently, this trend has been undergoing a change. Artists such as Julie Mehrutu and Mark Bradford have crossed the rubicon into Abstraction and into a frame of discourse that long excluded Black Artists while much older Black artists working in Abstraction going back decades such as McArthur Binion are experiencing a renaissance and having their art given the attention that evaded them in years past. At the heart of this show are the questions: what respectively drives Black Representational and by extension Black Abstract Art? How are these motivations distinct from those of “Mainstream” representational and abstract art? How do representation and abstraction inform and contextualize each other in the discourse surrounding Black art, and are there implications within this realm of discourse that can help shed light on the ontology of figuration and abstraction more broadly? Are the criteria by which the general audience, and mainstream institutions and galleries evaluate art made by Afro-diasporic peoples too narrow?

This show attempts to equally represent black figurative and abstract artists working mainly in the mediums of painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, collage, Installation, sound, video and sculpture across the entire range of the African diaspora. We seek to include artists at all levels of their careers regardless of age, gender, ability, or sexual orientation to help drive the conversation and engender broader understanding of these two major themes in Contemporary Black Art.

All media and materials are eligible for submission including video, sound and performance. Due to space limitations, no large projections or media-based installations will be accepted. Priority will be given to artists working in the media of painting, drawing, collage, sculpture, photography, printmaking, and digital work using photoshop or illustrator.

Deadline for Submission of Applications: Sunday, Sept 18, 2022 at 11:59pm CST
Notification of Acceptance: Will go out by email on Oct 1, 2022
Work Delivered to ARC: Thurs & Fri, Oct 20, 21, 2-6pm; Sat, Oct 22, 12-4pm
Pick-Up Work at Gallery: Sat, Nov 19, 2;30-4pm
Shipped Work Return Date: the week of Nov. 23-24 *Pre-Paid FedEx or UPS label is required.*
Do not use the U.S. Postal Service.

Opening Reception, Friday, Oct 28, 5-8pm
Gallery talk by juror Saturday, Oct, 29, 2022 1:00pm
Exhibition dates: Oct 27 – Nov. 19, 2022
Gallery hours: Thurs & Fri – 2-6 pm, Sat & Sun – 12-4 pm

ABOUT THE EXHIBITION’S JUROR: Spencer Hutchinson is a 2020 MFA graduate from The University of Illinois at Chicago where he studied Studio and New Media Arts (specifically Painting and Sound) and a 2009 BFA graduate from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago where he studied Sound, Painting and New Media. His work primarily deals with intersections across visual media, particularly painting, drawing, sculpture, architecture, performance, 3D animation, video and sound as well as topics relating to race and art theory and criticism. He has shown nationally and internationally in Mexico City, Ravenna IT, Assisi IT, Dubai UAE, and Manchester UK and previously served as editor and art critic for the New Art Examiner as well as being a founding member of Agitator Cooperative Gallery in Chicago. He has been a working artist based in Chicago, IL since 2007.

Opportunity Website

Calls & SubmissionsIllinois