Collage of mixed media, including oil, hair, fur, leather, shell and beads, mounted on cotton canvas, 1969. 915x610 mm; 36x24 inches. Titled in ink, upper left verso.
Provenance: the artist; Lusenhop Fine Art, Chicago, with the label on the frame back.
This is an exceptional, early work by Marie Johnson-Calloway, a California artist and professor known for her use of collage and mixed-media in assemblages depicting everyday African Americans. Born and raised in Balitmore, she taught in public schools and earned a degree in art eduction from Morgan State College in 1952. Two years later Calloway moved to San Jose, California and earned a Master's Degree at San Jose State University, and a doctoral's equivalency from San Fransisco University. Active in the Civil Rights movement, Calloway beacame president of the San Jose chapter of the NCAAP, and was a participant in the historic 1965 march in Selma, Alabama. At this time, her work changed from abstraction to the figurative, and she began this body of work in collage, showing at the Brockman Gallery in Los Angeles. In 1969, she became an assistant professor at the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland and San Jose State University. From 1973 to 1983, she was an associate professor in the art department at San Francisco State University. In 1977, she had an important exhibtion in conjunction with her friend Betye Saar at the San Francisco Museum of Art. Her work today is in the permanent collection of the California Museum of African American Art, Los Angeles, and was included in the recent 2012 traveling exhibition Now Dig This! Art & Black Los Angeles 1960 - 1980. Farrington p. 142; Jones p. 262.