Included in this catalogue are full-colour reproductions of works in the exhibition, as well as an interview with the artist by Franklin Sirmans, Terri and Michael Smooke Department Head and Curator of Contemporary Art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and an essay by Lowery Stokes Sims, Curator Emerita at the Museum of Arts and Design, New York. Influenced equally by music, storytelling, and individual history, McArthur Binion has described his approach to painting from the position of a rural Modernist” and one through which he bridges the lyricism of colour with a Black rural sensibility”.
Binion’s paintings, predominantly composed of oil paint stick and paper on board, form the nexus of place and history, from Binion’s childhood in the South to his time in New York in the early 1970s and his current home of Chicago. In the exhibition, and as seen in the catalogue, are Binion’s recent DNA paintings, which incorporate birth certificates and phone books as personal effects employed as autobiographical, collaged elements.
Born in 1946 in Macon, Mississippi, Binion became the first African American to graduate from the Cranbrook Academy of Art with a Master of Fine Arts. In 2012, the Contemporary Art Museum, Houston, Texas, hosted a solo show of Binion’s work, and he has participated in numerous group exhibitions including Prospect.3 in 2014. Binion’s work is included in multiple museum collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Binion has taught as a professor of art at Columbia College in Chicago since 1992.
McArthur Binion's is an american painter whos work primarily consists of minimalist abstract paintings, created using crayons, oil stick, and ink, often on rigid surfaces such as wood or aluminum. For many years, Binion has been incorporating laser-prints as a collaged ground on top of which he applies other mediums. Binion's paintings have been featured in such museums as the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, the Studio Museum in New York, and the Detroit Institute of Art. Binion is represented by the Kavi Gupta gallery in Chicago.
Franklin Sirmans lives and works in Los Angeles, where he is the department head and curator of contemporary art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). From 2006 through 2009, he was the curator of modern and contemporary art at the Menil Collection in Houston, where the exhibitions he organized included NeoHooDoo: Art for a Forgotten Faith (which traveled to P.S.1 in New York and to Miami Art Museum); and before that he was co-curator of Basquiat (200506: Brooklyn Museum, Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, and Museum of Fine Arts, Houston). More recently he co-curated Steve Wolfe: On Paper (2009, Menil Collection and Whitney Museum of American Art). Sirmans was the 2007 recipient of the David C. Driskell Prize awarded by the High Museum of Art, Atlanta; and in 2009 he received one of the first Gold Rush Award given by the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation. Sirmans has also written essays for several exhibition catalogues, and articles and reviews in publications such as the New York Times, Time Out New York, Essence, and Grand Street.