David Driskell (1931–2020) was one of the most revered American artists of his generation, long recognized for his vibrant and versatile painting and printmaking practices that combined keen observations of the American landscape with the imagery and aesthetic innovations of the African diaspora. Although Driskell’s work was regularly presented in galleries and museums during his lifetime, in both solo and group exhibitions, David Driskell: Icons of Nature and History is the first exhibition to unite his paintings and works on paper, bringing approximately sixty artworks together to present highlights of his career. It is also the first major survey of his work since his death in April 2020 at the age of eighty-eight.
The exhibition surveys seven decades of the artist’s painterly practice from the 1950s to the 2000s, featuring works from museums and private collections and the artist’s estate. Select works establish the evolution of his use of collage as a medium, while others exemplify his signature incorporation of African images and forms.