Abstraction and Politics

Exhibition Review

  • "Eldzier Cortor: Coming Home"

  • The Art Institute of Chicago
  • 21 Feb 2015 - 31 May 2015

The painter and printmaker Eldzier Cortor—now nearly 100 years old—has devoted his career to understanding and celebrating African-American culture. Raised on the South Side of Chicago, Cortor has spent time in the Gullah community off the Georgia coast, worked in Haiti, and lived most of his long adult life in New York. The Art Institute of Chicago’s recent exhibition of Cortor prints, “Coming Home,” marked his first return to the city in 63 years and offered a window into a dynamic period for both contemporary art and African-American identity. Cortor’s work, which veers between brutally expressive abstraction and decorative figuration, also enlivens certain contemporary debates about political exigency and visual art.

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