Eazel | Frank Wimberley: Collage
April 15, 2021 - Eazel
April 9, 2021 - Berry Campbell
April 3, 2021 - Artnet Gallery Network
Frank Wimberley at Berry Campbell, New York
Frank Wimberley, Untitled (Collage) (1977). Courtesy of Berry Campbell.
At 94 years old, Frank Wimberley has been working, mostly under the radar, since the 1960s, creating dynamic, layered, abstract paintings. Over the decades, the artist has attracted a devoted set of followers on the East End of Long Island, where he has a home, while his importance as a Black artist working in the tradition of Abstract Expressionism has increasingly been recognized (his art was included in Hunter College’s important 2018 exhibition revisiting the 1971 exhibition “Rebuttal to the Whitney Museum Exhibition: Black Artists in Rebuttal”). Wimberly likens his process to a controlled accident, and creates his paintings with equal parts intention and improvisation, citing the traditions of jazz.
March 30, 2021 - Victoria L.Valentine for Culture Type
STILL PUSHING HER PRACTICE to new heights, Lilian Thomas Burwell will have her first New York solo exhibition at age 93. “Lilian Thomas Burwell: Soaring” opens April 22 at Berry Campbell Gallery.
An abstract artist, Burwell makes nature-inspired paintings and sculpture. She was featured in “Magnetic Fields: Expanding American Abstraction, 1960s to Today,” a groundbreaking exhibition presenting works by 21 Black female artists that originated at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City and traveled to the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C., and the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, Fla., from 2017 to 2018. Burwell is also the subject of a recent documentary, “Kindred Spirits: Artists Hilda Wilkinson Brown and Lilian Thomas Burwell.”
Guest curated by Melissa Messina, “Soaring” explores a pivotal period in Burwell’s creative development. The exhibition “highlights the dynamic transition in Burwell’s abstract visual language from two-dimensional painterly planes to three-dimensional sculptural forms. Burwell’s paintings from the late 1970s and early 1980s employ a distinctly bold palette and reference organic forms found in natural floral and earthly phenomena,” according to the gallery.
“The exhibition centers on the painting Skybound (1984), which marks the first time that the artist cut into her canvas, creating positive and negative space. This pivotal act gave way to Burwell’s examination of form, bringing forth Burwell’s signature style of three-dimensional, painted wall sculpture. These wall sculptures would become the artist’s signature focus for more than two decades.”
“Burwell’s paintings from the late 1970s and early 1980s employ a distinctly bold palette and reference organic forms found in natural floral and earthly phenomena.” — Berry Campbell Gallery
BORN IN WASHINGTON, D.C., Burwell grew up in Harlem and attended New York’s High School of Music and Art. Still struggling to recover from the Depression, her family returned to the nation’s capital and she graduated from segregated Dunbar High School.
Burwell attended Pratt in New York City and later earned an MFA from Catholic University in Washington (1975). After working as a publications and exhibits specialist at the Department of Commerce, she became a master teacher of art in the D.C. public schools. She taught from 1967-1980, the last five years at Duke Ellington School of the Arts.
The documentary “Kindred Spirits” focuses on Burwell and her aunt, her mother’s oldest sister, Hilda Wilkinson Brown. Based in Washington, Brown was a teacher and an artist who made modernist paintings with local scenes as her subject. Burwell said Brown was like a mother to her. She supported her desire to become an artist and convinced her parents to let her pursue it.
March 3, 2021 - Troy McMullen for ABC News
New York -- In 2005, on the eve of a solo show of his work in Southampton, N.Y., the abstract artist Frank Wimberley explained that he often viewed his artwork as living things. Giving a painting “time to breathe,” was an important part of the creative process, he said, adding that it wasn’t uncommon for him to step away from a work in progress. “Then you can return to it, just like with any living, breathing thing, and find a few surprises.”
At 94 years old, Wimberley is still uncovering surprises in an expanding body of work infused with bold colors and dramatic, gestural strokes. In a career that has spanned more than 50 years, and that includes paintings, sculptures, and ceramics, he’s managed to embrace the creative process as a continuous adventure.
This month Berry Campbell Gallery in New York’s Chelsea district is hosting a survey exhibition of collage works by Wimberley that will feature both paintings with collage elements as well as traditional collage works on paper.
(Take a gallery tour of the artwork with Frank Wimberley here.)
The show, to be held March 18 to April 17, will also highlight some of the artist’s most important collages to date, including several examples going back to the early 1970s, says gallery co-owner, Christine Berry. She opened the 2,000 square-foot ground floor gallery and exhibition space with Martha Campbell in 2013 with a focus on Postwar Modern and Contemporary Art.