conte crayon drawing on paper, shooting gallery target
30 x 22 1/4 x 2 in. (76.2 x 56.52 x 5.08 cm)
Museum Purchase, Greenacres Acquisition Fund and Collectors Collaborative, 2019.44. © Whitfield Lovell. Courtesy of DC Moore Gallery, New York
The lives of many Black women will never be known because their histories have been disregarded both by scholars and mainstream American society. How, then, might one recover these hidden histories? Whitfield Lovell combines conté crayon drawings and found objects to revitalize lost histories in his Kin series. In Kin XLVI, Lovell pairs an object used for target practice with a drawing of a Black woman in profile. This juxtaposition suggests a narrative about the anonymous sitter, drawing inspiration from images Lovell collected from the period between the Emancipation Proclamation and the Civil Rights Movement. As Lovell puts it, he aims to “illuminate the humanity and richness of these ordinary people.” In the composition presented here, the woman’s profile is paired with a shooting gallery target, prompting one to consider the history of violence on the Black body and issues of domestic violence toward women.