Black Indians in Space: The Constellation Opening Reception
Yellow Peril Gallery is pleased to present “Black Indians in Space: The Constellation,” an exhibition of mixed-media collages exploring African American and Native American stereotypes and identity by James Montford, opening Thursday, June 5, 2014. The opening reception is Saturday, June 7 from 6PM – 9PM.
Montford’s art is known for its provocative use of racial slurs and stereotypes in relation to blacks, whites, and Native Americans. His interpretations of the concept of Holocaust open up the discursive space for his audience to think in terms of extermination. For example, in one gallery performance he imitated a lynching, in 1995 he protested the absence of artists of color in a Hartford, Connecticut exhibit by scrawling “No Coons Here” on the gallery wall, and in 2003 he posed as a live cigar store Indian in front of a statue of Abe Lincoln in Buffalo, New York.
According to Montford, his ongoing project is to research what is “Black Indian.” The work created from that exploration serves as the basis for an extended dialogue. “The work is part of a global dialogue,” he explains, “which seeks to question the canon by engaging in the deconstruction of perceived cultural constructs and by examining oppression.”
About James Montford: JAMES MONTFORD is a multi-media artist, whose work ranges from photography and collage to performance art. He works between his studios in Providence, Rhode Island and Boston, Massachusetts. For over forty years, his career has allowed him to exhibit his work nationally, curate exhibitions and educate a variety of students crossing disciplines and media. Graduating with Honors in Fine Arts at Brandeis University, he was awarded the Rosland W. Levine Award for outstanding Achievement in Fine Arts and served on the Advisory Committee to the Dean of the College. He went on to receive his MA in Art and Education at Columbia University and MFA at the Hoffberger School of Painting, Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore. Montford’s numerous residencies include several Yaddo Residency Fellowships in Saratoga Springs, NY, the Art Matters Inc. NYC Individual Artist Fellowship and a VT Studio Residency Grant. He has pursued opportunities to study and work under great artists such as painter Robert Colescott, architect Paolo Soleri, painter Grace Hartigan and painter Joseph Stefanelli. Montford received funding from the National Endowment for the Arts Individual Artist Fellowship and was twice awarded the Pollock Krasner Foundation Grant to Support Independent Work. In 2005, Montford was appointed Director of the Edward M. Bannister Gallery at Rhode Island College, where he is a Professor in the Art Department, and curates thought-provoking exhibitions by both regional and national artists.