A discussion between contemporary artists Alteronce Gumby and Wilmer Wilson IV, with writer and curator Denny Mwaura. They explore ways that both artists work across a variety of artistic disciplines and mediums, and the function of materiality within their work and artistic process.
Alteronce Gumby is an abstract artist working across multiple mediums and disciplines. In Gumby’s process, he utilizes landscape as it relates to space and everyday life. His paintings focus on the representation of the self and subvert the traditional understanding of light and color through nuanced application of tonal changes directly with the artist's fingers and hands. Gumby configures works in a jigsaw pattern, reconstructing chromatic spectrums of color, line, experience and spatiality. Besides being strongly influenced by established African-American artists, he abandons traditional formalistic techniques to push the spatial boundaries of color, light, darkness and form. Gumby graduated from Yale University’s MFA program where he was awarded the Robert Reed Memorial Scholarship after earning a BFA from Hunter College, New York, NY and, in 2017, completed a year-long residency as the Harriet Hale Woolley scholar at the Fondation des Etats-Unis in Paris, France. He was granted the AAF/Seebacher Prize for Fine Arts as well as the Dumfries House Residency, Ayrshire, Scotland in 2015. Gumby has recently been featured in solo exhibitions at Long Gallery, New York, NY and the Fondation des Etats-Unis, Paris, France. He has a forthcoming second solo exhibition at Parrasch Heijnen Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, slated for Fall 2020.
Bernard I. Lumpkin is a contemporary art collector, patron, and educator whose commitment to both emerging and established artists of African descent is part of a broader mission of institutional advocacy and support. He currently sits on the Board of Trustees of the Studio Museum in Harlem and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. At the Whitney Museum of American Art, Mr. Lumpkin serves on the Education Committee and on the Painting & Sculpture Committee. At the Museum of Modern Art, he serves on the Media & Performance Committee and is also the Vice-Chair of the Friends of Education patron group. Lumpkin has advised public and private organizations on collecting and patronage, and participated in discussion panels at art fairs, auction houses, and universities. Lumpkin was educated at Harvard (A.M., Ph.D.) and Yale (B.A.), where he sits on the Dean’s Council at the Yale School of Art. The Lumpkin-Boccuzzi Family Collection is the subject of a bestselling new book — “Young, Gifted and Black: A New Generation of Artists” (DAP) — and a nationwide traveling exhibition which is currently on view at Lehigh University.
Denis Mutungi Mwaura is an artist-art historian, curator, and writer whose practice focuses on public art, photography, and time-based media. Grounded in chronicling migrancy through language, landscapes, and portraiture, Mwaura's photographic practice explores intimate communal bonds and the seen and unseen histories of blackness. Exhibitions and public programs his curatorial research has supported include Young, Gifted and Black: The Lumpkin-Boccuzzi Family Collection of Contemporary Art (2020) at Gallery 400; Malangatana: Mozambique Modern (2020), Naughty Nymphs in the Courtyard of the Favorites (2022), and Igshaan Adams: Desire Lines (2022) at the Art Institute of Chicago; Wong Ping: Digital Fables (2021) and Madeleine Hunt-Ehrlich: Speculative Archives (2021) at Conversations at the Edge. His writings on artists including Kapwani Kiwanga, Daniela Rivera, and Senzeni Marasela appear in the Boston Art Review and Africanah. Recently, Mwaura is the 2021 recipient of the Schiff Foundation Fellowship for Critical Architectural Writing, an award granted by the Department of Architecture and Design at the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Public Programs Manager at Gallery 400, UIC. He received his MA in Modern and Contemporary Art History from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Wilmer Wilson IV investigates the marginalization and care of Black bodies in contemporary life. Born in Richmond, VA and based in Philadelphia, Wilson is concerned with “the way that blackness is shaped in and by city space” and interested in “producing possibilities for representation that exist apart from global advertising strategies.” Wilson IV holds a BFA from Howard University (2012) and an MFA from the University of Pennsylvania (2015). The artist has been part of exhibitions and performances at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2021); Philadelphia Museum of Art (2021); New Orleans Museum of Art (2019); New Museum Triennial, NYC (2018); Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia (2017); Flanders Fields Museum, Belgium (2017); Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (2015); and the National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C. (2015). His work can be found in the permanent collections of Baltimore Museum of Art; Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville; and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, among others.
This event was held on February 22, 2022.
Description Image: Alteronce Gumby, Denny Mwaura, and Wilmer Wilson IV.