Events: Driskell Prize Lecture: Black Baroque—Contemporary Art and Spectacular Presence with Dr. Childs
7:00 pm –8:00 pm
In recent decades, Black artists have been radically rethinking the history of art by taking on slavery, colonialism, power, beauty, and racial and cultural authority. Through direct references to the art and culture of the Baroque era (ca. 1600–1800) and to Black Neo-Baroque aesthetics and sensibilities, this talk, led by Dr. Adrienne L. Childs, will consider how contemporary Black artists such as Rashaad Newsome, Hew Locke, Vanessa German, and Simone Leigh engage theatricality, spectacle, exuberance, ornamentation, and luxury to redress historical absences and assert bold and spectacular presence.
In 2022, Dr. Childs became the eighth Driskell Prize recipient. Established by the High Museum of Art in 2005, the David C. Driskell Prize is the first national award to honor and celebrate an early- or midcareer artist whose work makes an original or significant contribution to the field of African American art or art history.
About Dr. Childs
Dr. Adrienne L. Childs is a scholar, art historian and curator. Childs’s research and curatorial work is focused on the relationship between race and representation in European and American fine and decorative arts as well as the influence and achievements of African American artists in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. She co-curated the exhibition The Colour of Anxiety: Race, Sex and the Uncanny in Victorian Sculpture for the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds, England (November 2022–February 2023). Her book Ornamental Blackness: The Black Figure in European Decorative Arts, forthcoming from Yale University Press, explores how the decorative arts contribute to broader dialogues of Black representation in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century European visual culture. Childs holds a BA in art history from Georgetown University, an MBA from Howard University, and an MA and a PhD in art history from the University of Maryland.