David Driskell (born 1931) Woman With Flowers, 1972
12019-08-27T10:55:30-07:00Lauren Cesirof37e4e52c3d9a4ff08b7937020ee9048f11c6739346705This image is featured in the exhibition, “not but nothing other: African American Portrayals, 1930s to Today.“ Hover over the highlighted rectangles for more information and links to related content.plain2019-09-04T11:53:42-07:00Oil and collage on canvas37 ½ x 38 ½ in.Art BridgesLauren Cesirof37e4e52c3d9a4ff08b7937020ee9048f11c6739
12019-09-03T18:56:18-07:00David Driskell (born 1931) Woman With Flowers, 19723Label & Mediaplain2020-01-28T15:45:57-08:00 In this luxuriant painting, David Driskell offers up an image of African American femininity and interior life. Her eyes closed, a seated young woman holds a verdant bouquet of flowers on her lap. The identification of the feminine with nature has a long history in Western art, a theme that Driskell now reclaims for his community—Black womanhood would in fact be a recurrent subject of his paintings in the early 1970s. Yet there is perhaps an undertone of conservatism in this image of a feminine “mystique,” a serenity at odds with the assertions of powerful women found in contemporary works by, for example, Elizabeth Catlett or Barkley L. Hendricks.
But if Driskell’s conception of the theme is somewhat traditional, his formal approach in Woman with Flowers is adventurous, combining passages of expressionist dripping and splattering in the bouquet with collage elements drawn from photographs as well as his own black-and-white woodcut prints. Perhaps here too, in this technique, something of the feminine appears, with his female family members’ “quilt aesthetic” providing a homespun origin for Driskell’s use of collage.