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February Issue 2011

Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture in Charlotte, NC, Features Works by Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons

Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture in Charlotte, NC, is presenting the exhibit, What My Mother Told Me: The Art of Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, featuring works by this Internationally celebrated Afro-Cuban artist, on view through June 19, 2011.

"What My Mother Told Me may be one of the most important exhibitions the Gantt Center has mounted to-date," said David Taylor, president & CEO. "And because Maria Magdalena is a native Spanish speaker, we are taking extra steps to welcome the area's growing Hispanic community to view the exhibit. In light of that, our gallery guides and other materials will be presented in both English and Spanish."

Born in Mantanzas, Cuba, Campos-Pons' work echoes the lives of African descendants rooted in Cuba and of legions of fellow travelers from around the world. It has emerged from an early 1980s focus on painting and the discussion of Cuban mixed cultural heritage to incisive questioning, critique and insertion of the body in contemporary narratives of the present. The work in this exhibition builds upon a dialogue of culture, history, art and identity and define the core of who Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons is as a woman, an expatriate and a Cuban.

Campos-Pons creates paintings, installations, and sculptures, along with video and poetry. All of these are means to capture art that often relates to exile, longing, separation, and even nostalgia, which she calls 'memory without pain.'

Campos-Pons has exhibited internationally since 1984 when she won Honorable Mention at the XVIII Cagnes-sur-Mer Painting Competition in France and the Bunting Fellowship in Visual Arts at Harvard in 1993. Solo shows followed at MoMA, the Venice Biennale 2001, Johannesburg Biennial, the First Liverpool Biennial, the Dak'ART Biennial in Senegal and the Guangzhou Triennial in China.

Recognized as an upcoming young leader of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts by its Women's Chapter, Campos-Pons was also sited among the 100 Most Influential Latinos and honored in 2008 as Harvard launched a campaign to build its new art museum.

Campos-Pons's work can be found in several outstanding collections including the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Vancouver Art Gallery, The Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo, New York's Museum of Modern Art and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Campos-Pons has lectured at the Tate Modern in London, the Brooklyn Museum, the School of Art in Dakar, Senegal and at Harvard.

Founded in 1974, the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture (formerly the Afro-American Cultural Center) exists to present, preserve and promote African-American art, culture and history. The Harvey B. Gantt Center is an epicenter for the best in visual, performing and literary arts and leads community outreach initiatives and arts education programs.

For further information check our NC Institutional Gallery listings, call the Center at 704/547-3700 or visit (www.ganttcenter.org).


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