The Creative Capital/Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant Program announced today the recipients of its 2013 grants. Designed to support writing about contemporary art, as well as to create a broader audience for arts writing, the program aims to strengthen the field as a whole and to ensure that critical writing remains a valued mode of engaging the visual arts. Two scholars writing about Caribbean art—Krista Thompson and Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert [my co-blogger!]—are recipients of the 2013 awards. Congratulations!
Krista Thompson: The Visual Economy of Light in African Diasporic Aesthetic Practice (Book)
Examining the role of photography in the formation of contemporary African diasporic communities, The Visual Economy of Light in African Diasporic Aesthetic Practice will concentrate on Jamaica, the Bahamas, and the United States. Photographic technologies have informed new approaches to representation and visuality, conceptions of value, and contemporary art, and have generated novel types of photographic practice centered on light’s effects. This project will analyze how contemporary artists such as Charles Nelson, Rashaad Newsome, Ebony Patterson, and Kehinde Wiley reflect on popular picturing practices. It argues that these artists use the aesthetic lessons of black visual culture to critically assess a range of representations, from painted portraits canonized in the history of art to contemporary print advertising.
Krista Thompson is the author of An Eye for the Tropics: Tourism, Photography, and Framing the Caribbean Picturesque (Duke University Press, 2006). She has published in African Arts, Art Bulletin, American Art, Drama Review, Representations, and Small Axe. She teaches, researches, and curates exhibitions on contemporary art and visual culture in the African diaspora, with an emphasis on how photographic practices in the United States and the Caribbean offer new perspectives on art history. She is an associate professor at Northwestern University and the recipient of grants from the American Council of Learned Societies and the Getty Foundation.
Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert: Troubled Waters: Ecology and History in 21st-Century Caribbean Art (Book)
Troubled Waters: Ecology and History in 21st-Century Caribbean Art will explore the ways in which 21st-century Caribbean artists address the environmental consequences of a history of mismanagement of the islands’ coasts and surrounding sea. Through an analysis of a variety of artistic projects, the study examines the growing role of the region’s artists in environmental debate. The analysis of their works (many of which incorporate materials drawn from the sea as artistic material) will serve as an entry into the rich expressive possibilities open to 21st-century Caribbean environmental artists and the theories that underpin their work. These photographs, paintings, and installations metaphorically underscore how Caribbean nations and peoples have been marked by their proximity to and dependence on the sea.
Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert works in the fields of literature, ecocriticism, art history, and cultural studies, specializing in the multidisciplinary, comparative study of the Caribbean. She is the author of a number of books, among them Phyllis Shand Allfrey: A Caribbean Life (Rutgers University Press, 1996), Jamaica Kincaid: A Critical Companion (Greenwood, 1999), Creole Religions of the Caribbean (New York University Press, 2003, with Margarite Fernández Olmos), and Literature of the Caribbean (Greenwood, 2008). She teaches in the Hispanic studies department and the environmental studies program at Vassar College.