The Taft Museum of Art and the Robert S. Duncanson Society have selected visual and performance artist Vanessa German as the 2018 Duncanson Artist-in-Residence.
German’s mixed-media sculptures and assemblages will be featured in a special exhibition entitled vanessa german: running with freedom. This show will be on view July 13–Oct. 21 in the Sinton Gallery. One work will be placed in the Longworth Foyer, where it can be appreciated in the context of Robert S. Duncanson’s landscape murals.
Constructed from found objects, including doll parts, antique tins, beads, household items and other cast-off relics, German’s “power figures” evoke folk art traditions, religious icons and African nkisi nkondi—ritual figures carved from wood to embody mystical forces.
German’s sculptures bridge the past and the present: antiques mingle with provocative imagery, challenging stereotypes and confronting current issues facing African American communities.
German spent her young adult years in Loveland, Ohio, when she began collecting, assembling, and painting found objects to create works of art—a precursor to the power figures she is known for today.
Now based in Pittsburgh, German is a true multidisciplinary artist, and her sculptural work, spoken word, and community art initiatives have garnered national attention. Her work has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning, NPR’s All Things Considered, and in the Huffington Post, O Magazine and Essence Magazine.
From Oct. 7-21, German will lead public programs, teach workshops, and visit schools across Greater Cincinnati.