|Sam Doyle. Ford, ca. 1970. House paint on metal. 34 x 25 inches. Collection Pérez Art Museum Miami, gift of Gordon W. Bailey. Image courtesy of Gordon W. Bailey|
The title of the exhibition emphasizes the artists' impassioned commitment to their diverse practices and confirms the inclusive theme of the show which features artworks selected from 60 gifted by Bailey to PAMM since 2016. A variety of media is displayed including drawing, painting and sculpture.
A number of well-known artists from the American South are represented: Sam Doyle, Purvis Young, Sister Gertrude Morgan, Thornton Dial Sr., Clementine Hunter, Herbert Singleton, Roy Ferdinand, Leroy Almon, Lonnie Holley, O. L. Samuels, Mario Mesa, Minnie Evans, Sulton Rogers, Welmon Sharlhorne, Jimmy Lee Sudduth, Mose Tolliver, and Willie White. Other notable artists included are: David Choe, Daniel Pressley, Eddie Arning, Harry Lieberman, Rev. Albert Wagner, and William Dawson.
"What Carried Us Over is the first opportunity to view Mr. Bailey's donations as a whole," said PAMM Director Franklin Sirmans. "We look forward to exploring the many ways in which his gifts will filter into our permanent collection galleries in dynamic and meaningful ways."
Several highlights underscore the diversity and quality of the artworks: two house paint on roofing tin works by Sam Doyle, whose work was collected by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Our Father, a painting that considers religion and race and Ford, a poignant tribute to one of Doyle's teachers; three large-scale constructions, incorporating cast off wood and masonite, by Purvis Young, anchored by a vibrant tribute to the Miami Dolphins, add depth to PAMM's holdings of his art; an early 1940s abstract floral on paper by Minnie Evans; a painted wood bas-relief by Herbert Singleton that reclaims an old oak door; the carved and painted wood figures, Devil Family, by Sulton Rogers; a hard-hitting, admonishment, Stop, by Roy Ferdinand, illustrating the toll taken by gun violence; a mixed media work by Sister Gertrude Morgan created in 1970 on the frontispiece of the book God's Greatest Hits; an exemplary oil on canvas by the renowned Clementine Hunter, painted when she was in her nineties; and Jane Winkleman's 2007 cautionary Disaster Ahead which addresses climate change.
Bailey's substantial gift also features several multi-piece groups: three works from Lonnie Holley, including the powerful Fighting in the Midst of the Pyramids; five, painted wood bas-relief panels from Leroy Almon; seven drawings, all accomplished on repurposed paper, by Welmon Sharlhorne; and three vibrant poster board works by the inventive colorist Willie White who achieved dramatic results with common marking pens.