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Cullen Washington Jr.

Abstract Meditations on the Grid and Humanity

Cullen Wash­ing­ton, Jr., Agora 1,” 2017, mixed media col­lage on can­vas. Cour­tesy the artist. © Cullen Wash­ing­ton, Jr. Pho­tog­ra­phy: Andrea Feldman 

Thursday, January 23, 2020
5:10 pm


In-person Event

Michigan Theater
603 E Liberty St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104


Penny Stamps Speaker Series
Watch Video
Open to the public
Free of charge

Cullen Wash­ing­ton Jr.s work offers med­i­ta­tions on human inter­con­nec­tiv­ity and the uni­ver­sal frame­work that under­girds all things.” Fus­ing seem­ingly dis­parate con­cepts via the con­nec­tive tis­sues of mixed media, Wash­ing­ton uses non­rep­re­sen­ta­tional abstrac­tion to under­stand order, chaos, social rela­tion­ships, and other nat­ural phe­nom­ena. The work takes audi­ences on a vibrant jour­ney through and with mate­ri­al­ity — a con­certed and hap­tic inter­play between ges­tures of paint­ing and draw­ing and the modes of repro­duc­tion. In the exhi­bi­tion Cullen Wash­ing­ton Jr.: The Pub­lic Square,his most recent series, Ago­ras, explores the agora” — the ancient Greek pub­lic space — as a cen­tral gath­er­ing place” for acti­vated assem­bly that func­tions as the heart of the com­mer­cial, spir­i­tual, and polit­i­cal life in the city, where the dis­placed can find a place. Washington’s work is in the col­lec­tion of the Met­ro­pol­i­tan Museum of Art in New York City and has been exhib­ited at the Queens Museum in New York, the Saatchi Gallery in Lon­don, and the Stu­dio Museum in Harlem. He has been an artist in res­i­dence at Skowhe­gan School of Paint­ing & Sculp­ture in Maine, the Stu­dio Museum in Harlem, the Yaddo artists’ com­mu­nity in New York, and the Joan Mitchell Foun­da­tion. He has also received a Joan Mitchell Foun­da­tion Award.

Pre­sented in part­ner­ship with UMMA as part of the 2020 Rev. Dr. Mar­tin Luther King Jr. Sym­po­sium. Cullen Wash­ing­ton Jr.: The Pub­lic Square will be on view at UMMA Jan­u­ary 25 – May 17, 2020. Lead sup­port for the UMMA exhi­bi­tion Cullen Wash­ing­ton Jr.: The Pub­lic Square is pro­vided by the Uni­ver­sity of Michi­gan Office of the Provost, Michi­gan Med­i­cine, and the Insti­tute for the Human­i­ties. Addi­tional gen­er­ous sup­port is pro­vided by the Depart­ment of the His­tory of Art.