Faith Ringgold: American People


Bringing together over fifty years of work, “Faith Ringgold: American People” provides the most comprehensive assessment to date of the artist’s impactful vision.

Cover Image:

Faith Ringgold, American People Series #18: The Flag Is Bleeding, 1967. Oil on canvas, 72 × 96 in. (182.9 × 243.8 cm). National Gallery of Art, Washington, Patrons’ Permanent Fund and Gift of Glenstone Foundation (2021.28.1). © Faith Ringgold / ARS, NY and DACS, London, courtesy ACA Galleries, New York 2021

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Artist, author, educator, and organizer, Faith Ringgold is one of the most influential cultural figures of her generation, with a career linking the multi-disciplinary practices of the Harlem Renaissance to the political art of young Black artists working today. For sixty years, Ringgold has drawn from both personal autobiography and collective histories to both document her life as an artist and mother and to amplify the struggles for social justice and equity. From creating some of the most indelible artworks of the civil rights era to challenging accepted hierarchies of art versus craft through her experimental story quilts, Faith Ringgold has produced a body of work that bears witness to the complexity of the American experience.

“Faith Ringgold: American People” is the most comprehensive exhibition to date of this groundbreaking artist’s vision, highlighted by the first full presentation of her historic French Collection in over twenty years along with many other quintessential works that will be exhibited together for the first time in decades. Featuring Ringgold’s best-known series, this show examines the artist’s figurative style as it evolved to meet the urgency of political and social change. The exhibition also foregrounds her radical explorations of gender and racial identities, which the artist incorporates into the rich textures of her paintings, soft sculptures, and story quilts. Among the most important artworks of the past fifty years, Ringgold’s fabric works combine local traditions and global references to compose a polyphonic history of this country. Long overdue, this retrospective provides a timely opportunity to experience the art of an American icon.

The accompanying, fully-illustrated exhibition catalogue, co-published with Phaidon, focuses on all aspects of Ringgold’s career. With new contributions by curators, writers, and artists across generations—including Diedrick Brackens, LeRonn Brooks, Julia Bryan-Wilson, Jordan Casteel, Bridget Cooks, Mark Godfrey, Lucy Lippard, Tschabalala Self, Michele Wallace, and Zoé Whitley, among others—this publication will be the most significant collection of scholarship on the artist’s work to date.

“Faith Ringgold: American People” is curated by Massimiliano Gioni, Edlis Neeson Artistic Director, and Gary Carrion-Murayari, Kraus Family Curator, with Madeline Weisburg, Curatorial Assistant.

Story Quilt Transcripts

Read transcripts of Faith Ringgold’s story quilts featured in this exhibition.

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Lead support for this exhibition is provided by The Henry Luce Foundation.

Major support for this exhibition is provided by:
The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts
Agnes Gund
Tschabalala Self

Generous support for this exhibition is provided by:
Ed Bradley Family Foundation
National Endowment for the Arts
Oprah Winfrey Charitable Foundation
Adam Lindemann
Kathleen O’Grady / The O’Grady Foundation
The Robert Lehman Foundation
Laura Skoler
Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund
Kurt N. and Katherine L. Simon – Goldman Sachs Gives

We gratefully acknowledge the Artistic Director’s Circle of the New Museum: Dakis Joannou, Co-Chair; Eugenio Lopez, Co-Chair; Gael Neeson, Co-Chair; Shane Akeroyd, Pietro Beccari, J. Tomilson and Janine Hill, Richard Mumby, Holly Peterson, Elham and Tony Salamé, and Beth Swofford.

Additional support is provided by Dorian Bergen, Noel Kirnon, Klimt Charitable Foundation, Miyoung Lee and Neil Simpkins, and Pippy Houldsworth.

Education and community programs are supported, in part, by the American Chai Trust.

Special thanks to the Artemis Council of the New Museum.

Thanks to ACA Galleries, New York.

Support for the accompanying publication has been provided by the J. McSweeney and G. Mills Publications Fund at the New Museum.

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