The Ernest G. Welch School of Art & Design Gallery at Georgia State University is pleased to present Colliding With History: African American Works on Paper from the Collection of Wes and Missy Cochran, on view September 13 through November 12, 2021. Curated by Rebecca Dimling Cochran, the exhibition brings together over seventy works by fifty-five artists from the LaGrange, Georgia couple’s collection.
The title of the show pays homage to Wes’s uncle, William L. May, who in 1975 encouraged Wes to collect prints by the artists of his time. His early purchases were of well-known contemporary artists but after a visit to the National Black Arts Festival in 1988, Wes and his wife Missy decided to focus exclusively on contemporary African American artists. Guided by mentors like Camille Billops, Bob Blackburn and Corrine Jennings, the Georgia couple visited artists in their homes and studios, building a collection over roughly thirty years that represents a broad swath of African American artists working in the second half of the 20th century. Pulled from this extensive collection, this exhibition traces the legacy of masters Hale Woodruff, Elizabeth Catlett, Norman Lewis and Romare Bearden to Mel Edwards, Sam Gilliam, Mildred Thompson and Faith Ringgold to Alison Saar, Radcliffe Bailey and Trenton Doyle Hancock.
While the Cochrans collected primarily prints, the exhibition also includes a few drawings, collages and paintings on paper by artists they admired who did not work in the print medium. The exhibition also spans different genres. Figuration, particularly scenes which celebrated African American life or made political commentary, was very popular at the time and is well represented. The is also a strong collection of works by artists working with abstraction, many of whom were less acknowledged at the time but who are now gaining in prominence. Together they provide a glimpse of the rich and diverse artistic legacy of their time.
To purchase a catalogue for the exhibition, visit https://store.vervante.com/c/v/V4081905372-01
The exhibition will be accompanied by a full color catalog that features an interview between the curator and collectors as well as an essay by Cynthia Hawkins, PhD, who adds her perspective as a scholar of American Studies as well as an artist within the Cochran Collection.
September 13 - November 12, Main Galleries 130 & 150
Colliding with History: African American works on Paper from the Collection of Wes and Missy Cochran, curated by Rebecca Dimling Cochran
Monday, October 25, Gallery 650
First day of Student and Alumni Printmaking Exhibition in Gallery 650. Juried Student Exhibition selected by the Print Club. Juried Alumni Exhibition selected by Visiting Instructor Jamaal Barber and Dr. Cynthia Hawkins.
Thursday, November 11, 4pm. Main Gallery 150
Visiting Scholar lecture by Dr. Cynthia Hawkins
Friday, November 12, 5-8pm Main Galleries 130 & 150
Closing reception of Colliding with History: African American works on Paper from the Collection of Wes and Missy Cochran, curated by Rebecca Dimling Cochran, in conjunction with Ernest G. Welch School of Art & Design Annual Open Studios.