Barbara Earl Thomas
The Illuminated Body
- PUBLISHED: October 2023
- SUBJECT LISTING: Art, Art History / African American Art, African American Studies
- BIBLIOGRAPHIC INFORMATION: 64 Pages, 8 x 10.5 in, 37 color illus.
- ISBN: 9798987929315
- Publisher: Chrysler Museum of Art
A talented visual storyteller, Barbara Earl Thomas has drawn from history, literature, folklore, mythology, and biblical stories over her forty-year career to reflect the social fabric of our times. Thomas’s figural and narrative imagery has a deeply philosophical and emotional force, and light and dark have been especially potent concepts in her work. This book of new works meditates on the visual experience of the body within a physical and metaphorical world of light and shadow. Based on real people, the portraits "elevate to the magnificent" her family, friends, and neighbors, as well as cultural icons of the African American literary landscape. Thomas's illumination of the human figure through her light-filled artworks and portraiture encourages the viewer to reflect on how we communicate ourselves to the world and how we perceive those among us.
Exhibition dates: Chrysler Museum of Art: February 24–August 20, 2023; Wichita Art Museum: October 7, 2023–January 14, 2024; Arthur Ross Gallery, the University of Pennsylvania: February 17–May 21, 2024
Authors & Contributors
Barbara Earl Thomas is a Seattle-based artist, writer, and thinker. Carolyn Swan Needell is the Carolyn and Richard Barry Curator of Glass at the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, Virginia. Kemi Adeyemi is associate professor of gender, women, and sexuality studies at the University of Washington in Seattle. Emily Zimmerman is assistant director of the Arthur Ross Gallery at the University of Pennsylvania.