III

Narratives of African American Art and Identity

Ellis Wilson

Untitled (Fish in Net) , n.d.

Oil on masonite

9" x 12"


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Untitled

Ellis Wilson, like many southern black artists of his time, went north to Chicago in the early 1920s to study and participate in the black arts movement that was emerging in urban centers. In 1928 he moved to New York, where he participated in WPA art programs and exhibited through the Harmon Foundation. In spite of the distance between Wilson and his roots in rural Kentucky, black southern genre was his theme of choice. He followed his interest in the everyday lives of diasporan peoples from the open air markets of Charleston, South Carolina, to the marketplaces and seashores of Haiti. The Driskell Collection's Untitled demonstrates Wilson's love of seaside culture. The colorful fish emerging from the water in a fishing net call to mind the bounty of the ocean that was an integral part of the lives of coastal black cultures in the Americas and the Caribbean.   A. L. C.

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