Simba

Jeff Donaldson, Simba, 1972, Mixed media, 28 x 18 in. Collection of Dr. Sheryl L. Colyer, Courtesy of Kravets Wehby Gallery, New York
 

Maternal Homage

Jeff Donaldson, Maternal Homage, 1971, mixed media, 27 x 27 in. Courtesy of Kravets Wehby Gallery, New York 

Aunt Jemima and the Pillsbury Doughboy

Jeff Donaldson, Aunt Jemima and the Pillsbury Doughboy, 1963, oil on linen, 48 x 48 in. Courtesy of Kravets Wehby Gallery, New York

Majorities

Jeff Donaldson, Majorities, 1977, mixed media, 44 x 36 in. Private Collection, courtesy of Kravets Wehby, New York 

Stone Singer

Jeff Donaldson, Stone Singer, 1996-1999, acrylic on canvas, 66 x 36 in. Private Collection, New York, Courtesy of Kravets Wehby, New York 

Victory in the Valley of Eshu

Jeff Donaldson, Victory in the Valley of Eshu, 1971, mixed media, 36 x 25 ½ in. Courtesy of Kravets Wehby Gallery, New York 

Jeff Donaldson: Dig

October 27, 2018 - January 21, 2019
Karl and Bertl Arnstein Galleries

Jeff Donaldson: Dig, the artist’s first museum retrospective, explores Donaldson’s four-decade career. Spanning his activist roots in Chicago to his influence on future generations of artists as a professor at Howard University and vice president of the Barnes Foundation, this major exhibition presents new scholarship and features works never before publicly presented.

In 1968, Donaldson, along with Wadsworth Jarrell, Jae Jarrell, Barbara Jones-Hogu and Gerald Williams, founded the African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists (AfriCOBRA). Formed in Chicago’s South Side, AfriCOBRA was born in an era of political and social unrest and in an art world that privileged white artists and audiences. AfriCOBRA sought to create a new kind of art that was not only politically engaged but reflected contemporary black culture and appealed specifically to a black audience.

Donaldson’s work across the decades combines energetic colors, intricate patterns and African iconography to celebrate the history of African art and the roots of black culture. Featuring paintings, prints and mixed media works, Dig reflects on Donaldson’s deep belief in the responsibility of an artist to create work that is both socially relevant and visually striking. The exhibition features iconic examples of Donaldson’s early work known for its high energy “coolade” palette. For the first time, these early examples are shown alongside Donaldson’s later, lesser known works from the 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s, demonstrating the artist’s lifelong commitment to making, as he often described, “art for the people, not for critics.”

Jeff Donaldson: Dig is organized by The Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, NY, and supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Ohio Arts Council, the Akron Community Foundation and Katie and Mark Smucker.

Knight Foundation logo    Ohio Arts Council logo    Akron Community Foundation logo    Katie & Mark Smucker

Dig Tour: Who Was Jeff Donaldson?

November 3, 2018, 11 am

Explore Jeff Donaldson: Dig and learn more about artist Jeff Donaldson. Learn more about the life of this multitalented individual during a tour by Associate Curator Theresa Bembnister.

Dig Tour: Who Was Jeff Donaldson?

November 3, 2018, 11 am

Dig Tour: Who Was Jeff Donaldson?

Explore Jeff Donaldson: Dig and learn more about artist Jeff Donaldson. In addition to his career as an artist, Donaldson was a university administrator and a scholar of art history. Learn more about the life of this multitalented individual during a tour by Associate Curator Theresa Bembnister.

This tour is FREE for Akron Art Museum members but registration is required. Please click the button / link below to register.

Space is limited! Only 20 spots per tour

Not a member? Join here!

Image: Jeff Donaldson, Simba, 1972 mixed media, 28 x 18 in. Collection of Dr. Sheryl L. Colyer, Courtesy of Kravets Wehby Gallery, New York

Jeff Donaldson/Allison Zuckerman Opening Party

October 26, 2018, 6 - 9 pm

Celebrate the opening of two major exhibitions at the Akron Art Museum at this one-evening-only party. Come as you are and enjoy stunning art from two provocative and groundbreaking artists, along with music, food and special guests.

Jeff Donaldson/Allison Zuckerman Opening Party

October 26, 2018, 6 - 9 pm

Jeff Donaldson/Allison Zuckerman Opening Party

Celebrate the opening of two major exhibitions at the Akron Art Museum at this one-evening-only party. Fancy or casual, we want to share a great art experience with you, so come as you are and enjoy stunning art from two provocative and groundbreaking artists, along with music, food and special guests.

Director’s Circle 5 - 6 pm
Members Preview 6 - 8 pm
Open to all 8 - 9 pm

Image 1: Allison Zuckerman, By the Lake, 2018, 60 x 80 in., Acrylic and inkjet on canvas, Courtesy the artist and Kravets Wehby Gallery

Image 2: Jeff Donaldson, Stone Singer, 1996-1999, Acrylic on canvas, 66 x 36 inches, Private Collection, New York

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