Whitfield Lovell: Passages
October 27, 2023 – January 14, 2024
Whitfield Lovell: Passages features drawings, assemblages, and installations that focus on African-American history and raise questions about identity, memory, and our country’s heritage.
A 2007 MacArthur Fellowship recipient, Lovell (b. 1959, Bronx, New York) makes drawings inspired by photographs of unidentified African Americans taken between the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 and the Civil Right Movement of the 1950s and 60s.
“The importance of home, family, ancestry feeds my work entirely,” Lovell explains. “African Americans were generally not aware of who their ancestors were, since slaves were sold from plantation to plantation and families were split up. Any time I pick up one of these old vintage photographs, I have the feeling that this could be one of my ancestors.”
Executed on paper or salvaged wooden boards, the artist’s drawings are paired with found objects and often incorporated into larger multi-media installations or stand-alone tableaux.
The Story Project
Inspired by Whitfield's work in Passages, The Story Project invites you to tell your own stories through memory-rich objects.
Whether it is an old family photograph, a piece of jewelry handed down through generations, the recipe of your favorite homemade dessert, or the LP record of your favorite song, AMFA wants you share an image of this item and the memories connected to it.
Artist Talk: Whitfield Lovell
October 26, 2023, at 6:00 p.m.
Whitfield Lovell's Artist Talk at AMFA marks the only event in the Mid-South where audiences can see Lovell in person during this exhibition’s two-year journey through six cultural institutions across the United States.
Don’t miss this opportunity to hear Lovell – recognized as one of the world’s leading artists interpreting lost African American history – speak retrospectively about the work on view in Passages in context with today’s current culture.
Circle Society Preview
October 26, 2023 / 4:00-6:00 p.m.
AMFA Circle Society Donors and Corporate Partners are invited to enjoy an exclusive first look at Whitfield Lovell: Passages before the Member Preview Party on October 26 and the public exhibition opening on October 27.
October 26, 2023 / 6:00-9:00 p.m.
AMFA Members and Social Pass holders are invited to explore AMFA’s immersive new exhibition Whitfield Lovell: Passages during an intimate reception before it opens to the public on October 27.
Whitfield Lovell: Passages is organized by the American Federation of Arts in collaboration with Whitfield Lovell. Major support for the national tour and exhibition catalogue is provided by National Endowment for the Arts and the Terra Foundation for American Art.