Bisa Butler: Portraits

Textile: Cloth and Culture August 2021

The subjects who populate the 22 quilts that comprise Bisa Butler’s exhibition Portraits transcend their historical sources–vintage photographs of anonymous African Americans, whose visages Butler transforms through vibrant layers of fabric and thread. Employing a transdisciplinary process that includes documentary research and color studies derived from the artist’s early training in painting, Butler renders her figures material, timeless, present, imbuing them with a dignity that celebrates the multiplicity of Black identity.

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