Chicago events. Jefferson Pinder Explores Black Male Identity at the Hyde Park Art Center

Chicago events. Jefferson Pinder Explores Black Male Identity at the Hyde Park Art Center
Yareah Magazine
Onyx Odyssey by Jefferson Pinder

Chicago events. Onyx Odyssey by Jefferson Pinder

Chicago events. Hyde Park Art Center (5020 S Cornell Ave) builds on the larger cultural discussion on race with Jefferson Pinder’s mixed media exhibition “Onyx Odyssey” in the main gallery and the Jackman Goldwasser Catwalk from November 8 – January 24. A public reception with the artist will take place, Sunday, November 8th beginning at 3 pm.

Having earned widespread acclaim on the east coast before his recent move to Chicago, Pinder will continue his extensive meditation on black identity with “Onyx Odyssey.” The show will feature a mix of Pinder’s previous work dating back to 2008 as well as new works, displaying Pinder’s versatility as an artist, with works of sculpture, video and light installation. In particular, this show explores and connects the various definitions of the black male figure, from civil rights activist W.E.B DuBois to the recent wave of riots in Ferguson, Baltimore and nationwide resulting from the unjust deaths of young black men which inspired the “Black Lives Matter” movement.

In the exhibition, Pinder also asks what psychological or physical substances unite or determine the strength of a race, with the goal of creating a variety of experiences which force Americans to think critically about our highly polarized society. Troy Patterson of Slate Magazine, writing for Southern Living, praised Pinder’s work saying its impact “lies in its ability to provoke meaningful dialogue.”

“Jefferson Pinder and the Hyde Park Art Center share a commitment to promote topical and boundary-pushing discourse. It is only natural that one of Pinder’s introductions to Midwestern audiences would happen here,” said Kate Lorenz, Executive Director of Hyde Park Art Center. “His work is powerful in its own right, and will contribute significantly to the dialogue here in Chicago.”

Pinder found great success as an artist on the east coast with exhibitions at renowned museums including the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Studio Museum and the High Museum. The Washington Post compared his early work to that of Jacob Lawrence saying, “Like all Pinder’s best videos, it is a simple conceit, simply realized. But it speaks simply of the same complexities that Jacob Lawrence did.” Since relocating to Chicago, Pinder has produced highly praised performance-based exhibitions while also earning a professorship at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

About Jefferson Pinder :

Jefferson Pinder’s work has been featured in numerous group shows including exhibitions at The Studio Museum in Harlem, the Wadsworth Athenaeum Museum of Art in Hartford, Connecticut, The High Museum in Atlanta, the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. and Tate Modern in London, United Kingdom. He received a BA in Theatre and MFA in Mixed Media from the University of Maryland, and studied at the Asolo Theatre Conservatory in Sarasota, FL. He was an Assistant Professor of theory, performance and foundations at the University of Maryland from 2003-2011. Currently, Pinder is an Associate Professor in the Contemporary Practices department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

About Hyde Park Art Center:

Founded in 1939, Hyde Park Art Center’s story begins during the Great Depression, a time when artists and the arts were seen as integral of healing the nation. The Art Center’s first Executive Director, noted painter Harold Hayden, set the tone when he declared: “Art should be found where people work and live.” The Art Center’s legacy includes launching artists’ careers, fostering new artistic movements, and providing socially adept arts education programming. The most internationally recognized artistic style to come out of Chicago, The Imagist Movement, emerged from artists exhibiting at the Art Center during the 1960s and 1970s. In recent years, the Art Centerhas continued this tradition, presenting solo exhibitions of artists including Juan Angel Chavez, Theaster Gates, and Kelly Kaczinski.

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