Old Slave Quarters

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  • Provenance

    The Artist

  • Exhibited

    Dallas, Liliana Bloch Gallery; Grambling, Dunbar Gallery, Grambling State University, 40 Acres...Gumbo Ya Ya, 2017

  • Catalogue Essay

    LETITIA HUCKABY
    Born 1972, Augsburg, Germany
    Lives and works in Forth Worth, TX

    2010 MFA, University of North Texas, Denton, TX
    2001 BFA, Art Institute of Boston, Boston, MA

    Selected honors: Hopper Prize (2018)
    Selected museum exhibitions and performances: McKenna Museum of African-American Art, New Orleans, African American Museum Dallas, Tyler Museum, Tyler, TX
    Selected public collections: Library of Congress, Washington D.C.; Art Museum of Southeast Texas, Beaumont, TX; Samella Lewis Contemporary Art Collection, Scripps College, Claremont, CA

    Fusing photography and textiles, Letitia Huckaby creates powerful vignettes exploring both family narratives and African American history. Huckaby began her career as a documentary photographer and it is through the camera’s lenses that we she gives the overlooked and forgotten renewed value. Old Slave Quarters, 2017, is based on a photograph Huckaby took of old slave quarters in Greenwood, Mississippi, in which, to her surprise, African-American families were still living. As Huckaby recalled in the 2011 National Endowment for the Arts “Up-and-Comers in the Arts” issue: “Shortly before I went to graduate school, my father passed, so I immediately started thinking about family and how I became the person that I am. He was from a small town in Mississippi called Greenwood, which is the fourth-largest producer of cotton in the country. I was a documentary photographer at that time, so I started taking pictures of cotton, cotton fields, and family members.”

    Huckaby is married to the artist Sedrick Huckaby, whose work with quilts inspired her to expand her photographic practice: “Through Sedrick's influence, I also started noticing my grandmother's quilts, not just as blankets passed down to me, but as fine art. So I started making quilts out of photographs of cotton and family members and began stitching them together, learning to sew as I went. My work now combines this documentary-style photography and my crafty side. I'm also becoming more sculptural with my work and have recently created dresses and freestanding forms incorporating images. ”

    Huckaby’s mixed media work fuses both a documentary (she holds a degree in Journalism) and highly personal impulse, elevating often overlooked subjects and narratives. With her 2015 Bayou Baroque series, Huckaby honored the nuns at the Sisters of the Holy Family Mother House in New Orleans, Louisiana. While presenting the black women with the same solemn compositional weight as that shown in older master religious paintings, Huckaby’s use of fabric as the ground for her photographic prints subverts traditional distinctions between fine art and craft. More recently, Huckaby has employed vintage embroidery hoops to frame her images. The use of this domestic object infuses Huckaby’s subjects with emotional charge and nostalgia, as well as seemingly elevating it to the status of an icon in its resemblance to religious mandorlas that transcend time and space.

  • Artist Bio

    Letitia Huckaby

    American • 1972

    Fusing photography and textiles, Letitia Huckaby creates powerful vignettes exploring both family narratives and African American history. Huckaby began her career as a documentary photographer and it is through the camera’s lenses that we she gives the overlooked and forgotten renewed value. 

    Huckaby’s mixed media work fuses both a documentary (she holds a degree in Journalism) and highly personal impulse, elevating often overlooked subjects and narratives. With her 2015 Bayou Baroque series, Huckaby honored the nuns at the Sisters of the Holy Family Mother House in New Orleans, Louisiana. While presenting the black women with the same solemn compositional weight as that shown in older master religious paintings, Huckaby’s use of fabric as the ground for her photographic prints subverts traditional distinctions between fine art and craft. More recently, Huckaby has employed vintage embroidery hoops to frame her images. The use of this domestic object infuses Huckaby’s subjects with emotional charge and nostalgia, as well as seemingly elevating it to the status of an icon in its resemblance to religious mandorlas that transcend time and space.

    View More Works

44

Old Slave Quarters

pigment print on cotton sateen with vintage embroidery hoop
19 1/4 x 26 3/8 in. (48.9 x 67 cm.)
Executed in 2017.

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AMERICAN AFRICAN AMERICAN

New York Selling Exhibition 10 January - 8 February 2019