Sep 25 – Dec 11, 2021
Artist’s reception: TBD
Catalogue launch: TBD
Please note that due to Covid restrictions, external visitors may only visit the Laband during our weekend hours, and must pre-register here. LMU Community members may visit us during any of our hours. Thank you!
The Laband Art Gallery is thrilled to present the solo exhibition June Edmonds: Full Spectrum, a forty-year survey of Los Angeles-based artist June Edmonds. This show, consisting of more than forty pieces made between 1980 and 2021, is the first opportunity to place Edmonds’s artworks in dialogue with one another and to offer overdue critical attention to the artist’s lifelong commitment to portraying Black positivity in her artistic practice.
Beginning in 1980 during her undergraduate studies, Edmonds (b. 1959, Los Angeles, CA) brought a vitality to her figurative canvases by depicting her personal and authentic experience as a Black woman in detailed portraits of her domestic space. Given that many young artists today, especially young Black artists, have reintroduced the representational genre into the fore, Edmonds’s scenes of Black domesticity are viewed within a contemporary light.
Edmonds’s creative spectrum expanded from portraying narratives of Black people from her milieu to recuperating and commemorating the stories, events and people of color who have shaped our nation’s history. Her methods have changed too: over the last dozen years, she has invented a fresh language in her painting practice by embracing more abstracted visual forms. Her celebrated recent compositions of female subjectivity and American flags are made up of palpable, luscious abstracted brushstrokes applied methodically. These newer bodies of work have extended the metaphorical possibilities of her palette from the brighter earlier pictures to sublime shades of color that are inspired by a spectrum of dark skin tones.
This unprecedented viewing experience allows us to consider how Edmonds’s dedication to producing vibrant and intellectually rigorous work centering Black American experience is made manifest throughout her career. Indeed, Edmonds has always and already been on an experimental trajectory to complicate and claim vital narratives that speak to a more culturally rich art world.
The exhibition June Edmonds: Full Spectrum will be accompanied by a catalogue designed by Blacvoice Design with an essay by jill moniz, Ph.D. The publication will be released in mid-November.
Image credit: June Edmonds, Self-portrait in Studio, (detail), 1981, oil on canvas, 36 x 48 in., Copyright of the artist