On View: ‘Wadsworth Jarrell: Come Saturday Punch’ at Kavi Gupta in Chicago — VICTORIA L. VALENTINE

Culture Type , 08.03.2019

CHARTING THE EVOLUTION of Wadsworth Jarrell‘s practice, “Come Saturday Punch” presents more than two-dozen works spanning 55 years. One of five original co-founders of AfriCOBRA, the collective established in Chicago in 1968, Jarrell has maintained a unique visual voice throughout his career. True to but unbound by the collective’s focus on presenting positive uplifting images of the black community, his vibrant “cool-ade”-colored work blends abstraction and figuration, often incorporates lettering and, most importantly, is driven by his personal expression and experiences. Pivotal figures in African American history are often referenced and musical influences, particularly jazz, are present. The survey features paintings, round-shaped and assembled mixed-media works, watercolors, and sculpture dating from 1959 to 2014. “Revolutionary” (1972), his well-known print paying tribute to Angela Davis, is on view with “Day of the Kings,” a 16-part sculptural installation and several works made nearly a decade before AfriCOBRA was formed. Born in Albany, Ga., Jarrell lives and works in Cleveland. His work is also featured in the traveling show “Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power,”currently at The Broad in Los Angeles, and the exhibition “AFRICOBRA: Nation Time” at Ca’ Faccanon, San Marco in Venice, an official collateral event at this year’s 58th Venice Biennale.CT