Faith Ringgold died at 93

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Faith Ringgold, a multimedia artist whose pictorial quilts depicting the African American experience gave rise to a second distinguished career as a writer and illustrator of children’s books, died on Saturday at her home in Englewood, N.J. She was 93.
For more than a half-century, Ms. Ringgold explored themes of race, gender, class, family and community through a vast array of media, among them painting, sculpture, mask- and doll-making, textiles and performance art.
She was also a longtime advocate of bringing the work of Black people and women into the collections of major American museums.
Ms. Ringgold’s art, which was often rooted in her own experience, has been exhibited at the White House and in museums and galleries around the world.
It is in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim Museum, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and the American Craft Museum in New York; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston; and other institutions.
For Ms. Ringgold, as her work and many interviews made plain, art and activism were a seamless, if sometimes quilted, whole.
“Few artists have kept as many balls in the air as long as Faith Ringgold,” the New York Times art critic Roberta Smith wrote in 2013, reviewing an exhibition of her work at ACA Galleries in Manhattan.
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Multimedia artist Faith Ringgold passed away on Saturday at her Englewood, New Jersey, home. Her graphic quilts, which portrayed the African American experience, paved the way for a second, distinguished career as a children’s book author and illustrator. J. She was ninety-three years old.

Barbara Wallace, her daughter, confirmed her death.

Using a wide range of media, including painting, sculpture, doll and mask making, textiles, performance art, and more, Ms. Ringgold spent more than 50 years examining themes of race, gender, class, family, and community. She had also long supported adding Black and female artists’ works to the holdings of significant American museums.

Miss. Ringgold has had her artwork displayed at the White House as well as in galleries and museums all over the world. Its themes are frequently drawn from her personal experiences. A number of institutions, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Guggenheim Museum, the American Craft Museum, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, have it in their permanent collections.

As demonstrated by Ms. Ringgold’s work and numerous interviews, art and activism were, for her, a cohesive, if occasionally patchwork, whole. With a background in classical painting and sculpture, she started creating politically charged paintings in the 1960s and 1970s that addressed the contentious issues of Black and White relations as well as relationships between men and women in the country.

In 2013, Roberta Smith, an art critic for the New York Times, wrote about Faith Ringgold’s exhibition at ACA Galleries in Manhattan, saying, “Few artists have kept as many balls in the air as long.”. Over fifty years have passed since she began balancing message and form, high and low, art and craft, inspirational narrative, and quiet or not so quiet fury regarding sexual and racial inequality. “.

The combination of fine art supplies like paint and canvas with craft materials like fabric, beads, and thread, vivid, saturated colors, a flattened perspective that purposefully referenced the work of impressionistic painters, and an astute, frequently compassionate focus on regular Black people and the visual details of their everyday lives were among the characteristics that defined Ms. Ringgold’s style.

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