Curated by Legacy Russell, Executive Director & Chief Curator of The Kitchen, ‘The New Bend’ brings together 12 contemporary artists working in the raced, classed, and gendered traditions of quilting and textile practice – Anthony Akinbola, Eddie R. Aparicio, Dawn Williams Boyd, Diedrick Brackens, Tuesday Smillie, Tomashi Jackson, Genesis Jerez, Basil Kinkaid, Eric Mack, Sojourner Truth Parsons, Qualeasha Wood, and Zadie Xa. Their unique visual vernacular exists in tender dialogue with, and in homage to, the contributions of the Gee’s Bend Alabama quilters – Black American women in collective cooperation and creative economic production – and their enduring legacy as a radical meeting place, a prompt, and as intergenerational inspiration. This exhibition acknowledges the work of Gee’s Bend quilters such as Sarah Benning (b. 1933), Missouri Pettway (1902-1981), Lizzie Major (1922-2011), Sally Bennett Jones (1944-1988), Mary Lee Bendolph (b.1935), and so many more, as central to expanded histories of abstraction and modernism.
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