NEW YORK—An exhibition of works by Winfred Rembert was one of the must-see highlights of the Outsider Art Fair. Kinz + Tillou Gallery devoted its entire booth to the Georgia-born African American artist who uses leather as his canvas. His colorful tooled works depict themes—from chain gangs to rural farming—that reflect his Southern origins and civil rights background. The personal works are rhythmic, featuring oft-repeated patterns and images giving them graphic impact.
Detail of “Lillian and JT,” 2003 (dye on carved and tooled leather).
Now in his late 60s, Rembert finally began to focus on his art in 1995 and had his first gallery show in 2010. A year later, “All Me,” a critically acclaimed documentary about his compelling life was released. His work is currently on view at the Flint Institute of Arts and Adelson Galleries Boston.
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“Chain Gang,” 2003 (dye on carved and tooled leather).
From left, “Chain Gang Picking Cotton,” 2004 and “Drying Peanuts,” 2011 (both dye on carved and tooled leather).
Detail of “Cotton Cross (White),” 2012 (dye on carved and tooled leather).
From left, “Cotton Rows #3,” 2004 and “Planting,” 2005 (both dye on carved and tooled leather).
Detail of “Picking Cotton,” 2010 (dye on carved and tooled leather).
“Songs in the Cotton Field,” 2004 (dye on carved and tooled leather).
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The film that is referred to, “all me:the life and times of Winfred Rembert” is playing Feb 23 Sat at 3pm at Goddard Riverside Bernie Wohl Center at Columbus at 92nd Street in NYC and Feb 24 at Riverside Church at 1 and 3 pm, also in NYC. Weds Feb 27 at 6 pm at the Brattle Theatre in Cambridge, Ma and on March 9 as part of the Queens Works Film Festival in Long Island City, NY. Info on all screenings can be found here. http://www.allmethemovie.com/screenings.html