'Faith Ringgold: A Family History' is a focused selection of work that examines America’s racial history and politics by means of the artist’s own story. Throughout her career, Ringgold has addressed the experience of African Americans, but only rarely through the lens of the self-portrait. The presentation includes unique depictions of the artist herself and her two daughters, weaving the intimacy of a personal narrative together with the wider politics of her practice. The presentation focuses on the three large 'Slave Rape' (1972) paintings, key works that mark a turning point in her career. Her first collaboration with her mother, they are also significant as her last oil paintings on canvas and her only ‘tankas’ or quilts using this medium; from here on she used acrylic. The works are presented in the United States for the first time in decades. In addition, The Flag is Bleeding #2 (American Collection #6) (1997) further explores the bond between mother and child, which was made in response to her harrowing American People Series #18: The Flag is Bleeding (1967) as highlighted in the groundbreaking, much-traveled exhibition, ‘Soul of Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power’ (which was initially shown at the Tate Modern).
Faith Ringgold (born 1930 in New York) has shaped the artistic and political landscape of contemporary America as a prominent artist and civil rights activist. From the 1960s onwards, she fought tirelessly against the mainstream by promoting gender and racial equality. Best-known for her legendary story-quilts, her practice incorporates a vast range of media, encompassing painting, sculpture, and performance. This past summer a survey of her work was shown at the Serpentine Galleries. Ringgold lives and works in New Jersey.