Schmucker Art Gallery Noon Talk
Gallery Talk with Professor Nicholas Miller
Nicholas Miller is Assistant Professor in the Department of Art & Art History at Gettysburg College. His primary areas of specialization are modern and contemporary art with an emphasis on African American art, twentieth-century painting, and the historiography of the African diaspora. Motivated by these academic allegiances, he approaches the history of art from a transnational perspective attuned to the dynamic interchange of artists, ideas and objects. In his current research project, Unknowable Weapons: African American Painting, Diasporic Objects, and the Making of Modern Art, 1927-1977, he provides a social, cultural, and formal history of African American painting that tracks the interplay between these themes. By exploring the use of primitivism in the works of painters Palmer Hayden, William H. Johnson, Thelma Johnson Streat, and Jeff Donaldson, he reveals the provisional and often asymmetrical nature of African diasporic cultural exchange. His writing has appeared in Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art and caa.reviews and his research has been supported by Northwestern University, the Henry Luce Foundation, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
In her exhibition titled The Domestic, contemporary artist Zoë Charlton creates large-scale collages, drawings, and a sculptural installation that explore the ironies and complexities of contemporary social and cultural stereotypes. Black identity takes on layered meanings in this exhibition, as Charlton presents a series of works on paper inspired by reoccurring imagery in her drawings: suburban houses, African masks, and southern landscapes. Charlton examines how the notion of domesticity, defined as a deep familiarity with and attachment to where one lives, varies according to fraught issues of class, race, and gender. The term “domestic” also refers to African-American domestic workers and to the abuses, injustices, and inequities these women experienced within the intimate spaces of their employers’ homes. From the privacy of a household to a public national history, the “domestic” can be understood as gendered, comforting, invisible, controlled, and integral to keeping the status quo. The artist will deliver a lecture on her work in conjunction with the opening of the exhibition.
Wednesday, February 27, 2019 at 12:00pm to 1:00pm