Acrylic on canvas and pieced tie dyed and printed fabrics, 1986. 1970x2007 mm; 77x79 1/2 inches. Signed, dated "August, 1986" and inscribed "New York City" in acrylic, lower right recto. Signed, titled, dated and inscribed "acrylic on canvas/tie dyed, printed and pieced fabrics, 79 1/2x77" in ink on a canvas patch, lower right verso. Also inscribed "Top Lovers II" in ink, upper right, and "Bottom Lovers II" ink, lower right verso.
Provenance: acquired directly from the artist: private collection, Texas.
Exhibited: Faith Ringgold, Change: Painted Story Quilts, Bernice Steinbaum Gallery, New York, NY. January 13 - February 7, 1987.
Illustated: Bernice Steinbaum, Faith Ringgold, Change: Painted Story Quilts, p. 25.
Sleeping: Lover's Quilt #2 is an excellent example of Faith Ringgold's unique art form, the artist's ingenious incorporation of painting, narrative and quilt-making. This story quilt tells an intimate and unexpected account of the relationship between a wife and her husband, and highlights Ringgold's skill as a storyteller. Narrated in the voice of the woman, it divulges the untold family secret that keeps her up at night while her husband, a war veteran, tosses and turns in bed. It was included in the artist's first one person exhibition with Bernice Steinbaum Gallery the following year.
Sleeping: Lover's Quilt #2 comes out of the artist's mid-1980s period of auto-biographical narratives, including the story-telling performances, The Bitter Nest, 1985 and Change: Faith Ringgold's 100 Pound Weight Loss Performance Story Quilt, 1986, based on pivotal events in her personal life. In this mid-career period, Ringgold expands the expressiveness of her practice while continuing to elevate African-American stories and women's lives as subjects of contemporary art. This period further cements the significance of her story quilts, and their important contribution to American art. Many of these 1980s works were included in her 1990-93 traveling retropsective, Faith Ringgold, A 25 Year Survey. Farrington pp. 73 and 108.