Avis Collins Robinson is exhibiting new paintings and quilts that portray, both directly and metaphorically, the richness of African American life and the deep, layered meanings of a simple word: soul. In “The Souls of Black Folk,” one of the most important American books of the 20th Century, W.E.B. Du Bois used the concept of soul to convey the universal nature of the human struggle – joys and sorrows, the satisfaction of accomplishment, the comfort of family and the persistent resonance of history. Robinson’s portraits are more than beautifully rendered likenesses; they invite the viewer to look into her subjects’ souls and experience our common humanity.
Her quilts, too, are imbued not just with striking color and form but with history and emotion as well. She uses fabric to tell stories of freedom and funk, of spirit and solidarity. Using the rich traditions of African American quiltmaking as a foundation, she has developed a new visual language – sometimes with deceptive simplicity masking great complexity, sometimes so jam-packed with energy that the pieces of fabric almost seem to be in motion, always overflowing with soul. You know it when you feel it.
With her recent selection as an artist into the prestigious Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies program, Robinson takes her place among world class artists. As part of the program, one of her quilts was prominently installed at the United Nations building in New York.
Tue – Sat
10AM – 4PM
533 Eaton Street