b. 1929 Albany, Georgia Lives and works in Chicago
Wadsworth Jarrell (b. 1929, United States) is a painter, sculptor, and AFRICOBRA co-founder. Born in Albany, Georgia, Jarrell was raised on a working farm. Inspired by the art in the Saturday Evening Post, he hoped to become an illustrator. He joined the US Army after high school and became the company artist for his unit. After the army, Jarrell moved to Chicago. While working at the International Paint factory, he enrolled in night classes at the Art Institute of Chicago. Initially focused on design and illustration, he switched his attention to fine art after visiting various Chicago art museums. Back in Georgia, blacks had not been allowed inside museums. Seeing masterpieces for the first time in person inspired Jarrell. He enrolled full time at SAIC in 1954, and earned his BA in 1958.
Wadsworth has developed many distinct bodies of work, including sculptures inspired by the African cultural traditions, and a series of paintings dedicated to jazz musicians. A distinctive tool Wadsworth has used in some paintings is a brick laying trowel—something he learned to utilize in 1982, while creating a 300 foot mural at the headquarters of Westinghouse Electric Company. His work is widely collected, and is included in several important institutional collections, including that of the High Museum of Art, the National Museum of Africa American History and Culture, and the Studio Museum in Harlem.
AFRICOBRA: Nation Time, Venice Biennale (official collateral exhibition), Venice, Italy
Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power, The Broad, Los Angeles, CA
AFRICOBRA/Farafindugu, Afro-American Historic & Cultural Museum, Philadelphia, PA
AFRICOBRA III, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA
AFRICOBRA III, Howard University, Washington, D.C.
AFRICOBRA II, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL
AFRICOBRA II, Howard University, Washington, D.C.
AFRICOBRA II, Malcom X College, Chicago, IL
AFRICOBRA II, Hati Gallery, Rochester, NY
AFRICOBRA II, Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, NY
AFRICOBRA II, Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY
AFRICOBRA II, Langston Hughes Center for Visual & Performing Arts, Buffalo, NY
AFRICOBRA I, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL
AFRICOBRA I, Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY
AFRICOBRA I, Museum of the National Center of Afro-American Artists, Roxbury, MA
AFRICOBRA I, Black Expo, Chicago, IL
The Broad Brings ‘Soul of a Nation’ Exhibition to West Coast
The Broad Museum in Los Angeles will present the West Coast debut of the acclaimed Soul of a Nation: Art In The Age of Black Power 1963-1983 exhibition. The show highlights the work of black artists created over two decades, beginning …
Best of 2018: Our Top 20 Exhibitions Across the United States (excerpt)
2. Jeffrey Gibson: This is the Day at the Wellin Museum
As Tracy Adler, the curator of Jeffrey Gibson’s This Is the Dayexhibition at the Wellin Museum said to me, Gibson could go on continuing to make …
Still the Main Attraction, Art Basel Returns to Miami Beach
There are at least a dozen noteworthy art and design fairs taking place in Miami and Miami Beach in December, but the mother of them all is Art Basel in Miami Beach. If the famous Swiss art …
artnet news, 11.27.2018
From a Judy Chicago Retrospective to a Celebration of AfriCOBRA, Here Are 11 Shows to See in Miami During Art Basel
Miami Art Week is almost here, with its fusillade of art fairs, big and small. For many art-lovers, however, the whirl of art commerce is only the excuse to head down to Miami. The bevy of …
Museum Of Contemporary Art North Miami Shines New Light On AfriCOBRA
You would need to be a serious student of modern American art to be familiar with AfriCOBRA. Fifty years after the black artist collective that defined the visual aesthetic of the Black Arts Movement of …
The New York Times , 11.08.2018
50 Years Later, Chicago Artists Are Getting Their Due
Chicago — “Stop the murder of brothers and sisters.” “Liberate our nation.” “Unite.” The exhortations, on the vibrantly colored canvas of Gerald Williams’s “Messages,” couldn’t be more timely. Yet it is nearly 50 years old, …
Miami’s MOCA Presents Chicago-Based AfriCOBRA Collective During Art Basel Miami Beach 2018
In celebration of Art Basel Miami Beach 2018, the Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami (MOCA) will present a groundbreaking exhibition celebrating the Chicago-based AfriCOBRA collective, in conjunction with the group’s 50th anniversary. AfriCOBRA will be on display at …
Chicago Sun Times, 09.14.2018
‘Art Worlds of Chicago’s South Side’ sheds light on overlooked art, design
With an ambitious, variegated series of exhibitions, publications, and programs, Art Design Chicago has dominated the city’s 2018 visual-arts scene.
Spearheaded by the Terra Foundation for American Art, it is designed to spotlight aspects of the …