Solo exhibition of world-renowned artist Radcliffe Bailey opens at Knoxville Museum of Art

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Solo exhibition of world-renowned artist Radcliffe Bailey opens at Knoxville Museum of Art
Before Cisero, 2016. Mixed media installation including a framed photograph printed on aluminum, a pool stick, a crate, and crushed green glass, Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York

KNOXVILLE, TENN.- The Knoxville Museum of Art will present Radcliffe Bailey: Passages, on view August 12-November 6, 2022. An opening reception will take place on Friday, August 12, from 5:30-7:30pm, with the artist in attendance. This free event is open to the public and will immediately precede the finale of the museum’s 2022 Alive After Five concert series featuring contemporary violinist Brooke Alford. Free to KMA members, $20 for non-members.

“We had to delay this ambitious exhibition for several years because of the pandemic,” says Executive Director David Butler, “and we’re proud that we can finally bring this broad sampling of Radcliffe Bailey’s visionary work to the Knoxville community. He addresses ancestral memory, cultural identity, and his own personal history in ways that will profoundly move and engage you.”

The selection featured in Passages reflects the broad scope of Radcliffe Bailey’s studio practice and the multiple levels on which the artist’s works convey meaning. His hybrid creations offer diverse points of entry into compelling narratives that are personal yet far-reaching. Evocative and physically complex, they appear like talismans, shrines, reliquaries, guideposts, and portals offering direction and prompting reflection. Open-ended and wide-ranging, they remain enigmatic despite the presence of layered imagery implying a variety of possible interpretations. Each stands as a testament to the persistence of identity and memory and as an enduring message whose affirmative spirit promises to transcend the painful legacy of cultural erasure.

Born 1968 in Bridgeton, New Jersey, Radcliffe Bailey was raised in Atlanta, where he lives and works today. Forthcoming public art installations include work commissioned by the City of Atlanta, as part of the Renew Atlanta Public Art Program; the Freedom Cornerstone, commissioned by the City of Greensboro, North Carolina; and a commission by Philadelphia Contemporary. Recent solo exhibitions include Ascents and Echoes and Travelogue at Jack Shainman Gallery, New York; Pensive, SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah, which traveled to the Gibbes Museum of Art, Charleston; Radcliffe Bailey: Recent Works, Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans; and Memory as Medicine at the High Museum of Art, Atlanta. Bailey’s work is included in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; the Art Institute of Chicago; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri; the Denver Art Museum; and the High Museum of Art, among many others.

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