Object Details

Chris Clark
cotton, synthetic fabric, batting, paint, ink, metal, glass, plastic
35 7/8 × 31 3/16 in. (91.2 × 79.2 cm)
Chris Clark (1958-2011) honors his grandmother, who taught him to quilt, in this three-dimensional, quilted portrait entitled “Grandma.” The portrait’s subject is centered against ten rows of squares that alternate between yellow and blue and light blue and gray. A wide burgundy border lined by a thin black one frames the portrait. Clark sculpts the grandmother’s head from fabric, which he paints to create facial features. He also paints on fiber that curls into salt-and-pepper ringlets peeking out from a cap edged in eyelet lace. The grandmother wears actual glasses in gold and silver tones, the earpieces curving beside her cheeks. Eyelet lace forms the collar of her purple calico dress on which is pinned a filigree, silver brooch with amber stones. Around her shoulders hangs a white knitted shawl whose fringes fall below the bottom border. Clark began following his long-time dream of making art when he thought he would lose his eyesight to diabetes. He initially painted on scrap wood and flea-market furniture. After his grandmother taught him to piece and stitch quilts, he painted on them, too, despite her protests. The Birmingham, Alabama artist’s work was featured in the Anacostia Community Museum’s exhibition, On Their Own: Selected Works by Self-Taught African American Artists (2005).
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Anacostia Community Museum Collection
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Anacostia Community Museum
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