June Edmonds uses abstract painting to explore how color, repetition, movement, and balance can serve as conduits to spiritual contemplation and interpersonal connection to her African-American roots. Exploring the psychological construct of skin color or tone through pattern and abstract painting has proven to be a revealing gesture and these ideas are explored in her two ongoing series: the Energy Wheel Paintings inspired by her meditation practice and her Flag Paintings, which explore the alignment of multiple identities such as race, nationality, gender, or political leanings.
June Edmonds was born 1959 in Los Angeles, where she lives and works. Edmonds received her MFA from Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia, and a bachelor’s degree from San Diego State University. She also attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and is the recipient of the inaugural 2020 AWARE Prize, presented by the French non-profit Archive of Women Artists Research and Exhibitions; a 2018 City of Los Angeles Individual Artist Grant (COLA) and Exhibition at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery; a California Arts Council Individual Artist Grant; Paducah Artist Residency in Kentucky; Helene Wurlitzer Foundation artist residency in Taos, NM; and Dorland Mountain Community artist residency in Temecula, CA. Edmonds has exhibited at the California African American Museum, the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Luckman Fine Art Gallery at CalState Los Angeles, Watts Tower Art Center in Los Angeles, CA; Angels Gate Art Center in San Pedro, CA; and the Manhattan Beach Art Center in Manhattan Beach, CA. Edmonds has completed several works of public art with the city of Los Angeles and the Department of Cultural Affairs, including an installation at the MTA Pacific Station in Long Beach, CA. Her paintings are held in collections throughout the United States including the Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA; California African American Museum, Los Angeles; Mead Art Museum, Amhurst College, Amhurst, MA; Davis Museum, Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA;, CA; David Owsley Museum of Art at Ball State University, Muncie, IN; The Pizzuti Collection, Columbus, OH; as well as Arthur Lewis Collection, Los Angeles, CA; Rodney M. Miller Collection, New York, NY; Jorge Pérez Collection, Miami, FL; Michael Rubel Collection, Los Angeles, CA: David Rogath Collection, Greenwich, CT; and Kelly Williams and Andrew Forsyth Collection, Palm Beach, FL among others.
Luis De Jesus Los Angeles is pleased to announce June Edmonds was awarded a MacDowell spring-summer fellowship.
MacDowell will welcome 142 artists from 23 states, Washington D.C., and 11 countries for spring and summer residencies. These fellowships at the nation’s first artist residency program in Peterborough were granted from a pool of 1,822 applications from 54 countries and every state except Hawaii. Fifty-two percent of the incoming artists-in-residence self-identify as artists of color and 76 percent will be first-time fellows.
Luis De Jesus Los Angeles is proud to announce that June Edmonds has been awarded a 2022 California Community Foundation Fellowship for Visual Artist Fellows. The CCF fellowships are one of the most "prestigious arts fellowships in the region, which helps artists build successful, sustainable careers that support the thriving Los Angeles arts scene."
Luis De Jesus Los Angeles is proud to announce that June Edmonds has been awarded a 2022 Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship in Fine Arts by the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation. Guggenheim Fellowships are grants that have been awarded annually since 1925 by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation to those "who have demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts."
Luis De Jesus Los Angeles is pleased to announce that June Edmonds will be having a solo exhibition at Cal Poly University San Luis Obispo. The exhibition will take place from November 17 through December 10, 2021.
Luis De Jesus Los Angeles is very pleased to announce that June Edmonds' painting Still Saying Her Name, 2020, has been accessioned into the collection of the Crocker Museum of Art in Sacramento, CA. We are grateful to Simon K. Chiu, Chair of the Collections and Acquisitions Committee, and Scott Shields, Associate Director and Chief Curator, for making this acquisition possible.
The gallery is pleased to announce that June Edmonds will be giving a Russell Foundation Lecture presented by the UC San Diego Visual Arts Department and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. The event will take place via webinar on October 27, 2021 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. PST / 9:00-11:00 p.m. ET.
Luis De Jesus Los Angeles is very pleased to invite you to an artist talk with June Edmonds, Carla Jay Harris, and Karla Diaz in conjunction with the artists' current solo exhibitions. The talk will be held on Saturday, October 23rd, from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm, followed by a Q&A. This is an in-person event. Seating is limited and reservations are required.
Luis De Jesus Los Angeles is delighted to announce June Edmonds: Full Spectrum, a 40-year survey exhibition of Los Angeles-based artist June Edmonds, presented by Loyola Marymount University’s Laband Art Gallery from September 25 through December 11, 2021. The exhibition has been organized by Laband Art Gallery director and curator Karen Rapp.
Luis De Jesus Los Angeles is pleased to announce June Edmond's partipation in a group show, New Histories, curated by Dion Johnson at the University of La Verne's Harris Art Gallery. With an idiosyncratic use of images, and signifiers, the exhibition offers access into rich visual worlds of personal reflection, layered symbolism, and prophetic vision. The exhibition will be on view from September 7 through October 28, 2021.
The gallery is pleased to announce that June Edmonds will be part of a panel, Virtual | Equity & Represenation in Contemporary Art- A Panel Discussion for Black History Month.
Over the course of time in America, large swaths of art history have been omitted, erased, or ignored. This absence has created a significant void in the narrative around how people of African descent and people of color have contributed to the artistic canon.
The impact presents significant disadvantages for artists of color. From artists that have difficulty gaining representation, to art historians overlooking Black and Brown artists’ contributions, to collectors that do not have access to works they would like to acquire, the playing field has never been level. Bias shows up in art schools, in institutions, in hiring practices, in the primary and secondary art market, and in the critical voices that influence all of the above.
Recent news of high-profile curatorial appointments are a move in the right direction. However, there is significant work that remains to be done. What kind of new and inclusive art world can we as art professionals help to create?
In conjunction with the final week of the Unreachable Spring, the gallery will host an artist talk on Zoom, December 19th, 1:00 PM PST / 4:00 PM EST moderated by Luis De Jesus and Lindsay Preston Zappas. This conversation will serve as a summation of the exhibition and provide insight and dialogue towards the socio-political atmophere in which these works were created. From isolation and death, to social activism, to personal responses to systemic oppression, we speak with our artists about making art during a year unlike any other.
The gallery is pleased to announce that June Edmonds will be included in For Which It Stands curated by Assembly Room at the Ford Foundation Gallery. For Which It Stands is an evolving physical and online exhibition platform featuring over thirty-five contemporary artists who use the iconic American flag, loaded with centuries of convoluted history and exclusion, to create new symbols of national identity. Amid a highly volatile political climate and rise in white nationalism, these artists assert their place and affirm the multiplicity of the American experience while addressing issues of police brutality, systemic racism, socioeconomic disparities, alternative facts, and a patriarchal society, among others.
June Edmonds will participate in an artist talk on October 24th, 2020.
The gallery is pleased to announce that June Edmonds will be speaking at Loyola Marymount's Department and Art History's guest speaker program, KaleidoLA. The event will take place via Zoom on Friday, September 11 at 12:15 to 1:15 pm.
Founding Narratives presents artworks produced in the United States between 1800 and today that offer opportunities to consider the role of art in creating, reinforcing, and challenging stories about national identity. Drawn entirely from the Mead Art Museum’s extensive collection of American art, the exhibition raises questions about representation and the absence of representation in national narratives and in the establishment of a national art, about the significance of “firsts,” and about the interpretative frameworks that museums offer about artists and artworks.
The gallery is pleased to announce that June Edmonds will be participating in "Conversations About Abstraction with Six Black Women Abstract Artists in Los Angeles," a panel discussion featuring Sharon Barnes, Adrian Culverson, Adrienne DeVine, Holly Tempo, and Lisa Diane Wedgeworth and moderated by jill moniz and Isabelle Lutterodt.
Luis De Jesus Los Angeles is pleased to announce that the Mead Art Museum in Amherst, MA has acquired work by June Edmonds. Convictions IV (2020) is part of her ongoing series of Flag Paintings, which explore the alignment of multiple identities such as race, nationality, gender, or political leanings. Named for its founder, William Rutherford Mead (an 1867 graduate of Amherst College and a partner in the storied architectural firm of McKim, Mead & White), the Mead holds the art collection of Amherst College, celebrated for its American and European paintings, Mexican ceramics, Tibetan scroll paintings, English paneled room, ancient Assyrian carvings, Russian avant-garde art, West African sculpture, and Japanese prints.
Luis De Jesus Los Angeles is pleased to announce that the David Owsley Museum of Art at Ball State University located in Muncie, IN has acquired work by June Edmonds. Convictions I (2019) is part of her ongoing series of Flag Paintings, which explore the alignment of multiple identities such as race, nationality, gender, or political leanings. Central to the mission and vision of the David Owsley Museum of Art is the global art collection—we turn to it to learn, to celebrate, to heal, to dream, to empower.
US artist June Edmonds has been named the inaugural winner of the $10,000 Aware Prize at The Armory Show. Presented by the Paris-based nonprofit Archives of Women Artists: Research and Exhibitions the juried award goes to one female artist whose work is shown as a solo booth presentation within the fair’s Galleries section.
The Armory Show in New York is partnering with the Paris nonprofit Archives of Women Artists: Research and Exhibitions (AWARE) on a new juried award. The AWARE Prize will recognize the best booth dedicated to a solo presentation of a female artist, awarding $10,000 to the artist or her estate. The shortlisted artists are Yuko Nasaka (1939–, Japan) with Belgium’s Axel Vervoordt Gallery; Rina Banerjee (1963–, India) with Galerie Nathalie Obadia of Paris and Brussels; Aase Texmon Rygh (1925–2019, Norway) with Oslo’s OSL Contemporary; Alexis Smith (1949–, US) with Garth Greenan Gallery in New York; and June Edmonds (1959–, US) with Luis De Jesus Los Angeles.
This PLACE focuses on artists who articulate, correct and/or challenge historical narratives about geographical and cultural perceptions of place. Grounded by never exhibited 1960s ceramic works by Dale Davis — multimedia artist and Brockman Gallery co-founder who made space for the black arts west movement, This PLACE highlights how artists know, remember and reimagine environments that are relevant to their identities, aesthetic concerns and histories that define public visual awareness.
Luis De Jesus Los Angeles is pleased to announce that New York-Presbyterian Hospital has acquired several paintings by June Edmonds from her ongoing series of abstract paintings that explore how repetition, movement, and balance can serve as conduits to spiritual contemplation and interpersonal connection. The acquisition includes the massive and seminal painting Story of the Ohio: For Margaret (2017), inspired by the story of Margaret Garner, the enslaved African American woman in pre-Civil War America who was known for killing her own daughter rather than allowing her child to be returned to slavery. This event took place near Paducah, Kentucky, on the Ohio River, where June Edmonds did an artist’s residency in early 2017 and was also the inspiration for the events depicted in Toni Morrison's Beloved.
Luis De Jesus Los Angeles is pleased to announce that June Edmond's painting Sign of Life Flag (2019) was acquired by the Pizzuti Collection, Columbus, OH. Originally founded as an independent nonprofit by the Pizzuti family to share exhibitions of contemporary art from their private collection, the organization and its beautifully renovated building were recently acquired by the Columbus Museum of Art.
Luis De Jesus Los Angeles is pleased to announce that June Edmond's painting A Tisket (2018) was acquired by the Davis Museum at Wellesly College in Massachusetts, USA. One of the oldest and most acclaimed academic fine art museums in the United States, the Museum was founded more than 120 years ago by the first President of Wellesley College. The Davis collections, which span global history from antiquity to the present and include masterpieces from almost every continent, are housed today in an extraordinary museum building, designed by Rafael Moneo, winner of the Pritzker Architecture Prize. In addition to dynamic presentations of the permanent collections, and installations that support specific coursework and research interests, the Davis hosts a rotating series of engaging temporary exhibitions and programs organized to inform, delight, and challenge its visitors.
The spirograph galaxy of Rhythmic Inquisitions, an exhibition of works by June Edmonds at the Riverside Art Museum, unmercifully hypnotizes. Expanding boundaries, this 2022 Guggenheim Fellowship Recipient injects Aretha Franklin’s Respect (1967) into Abstract Expressionism.
"Rhythmic Inquisitions" brings together 19 of Black painter June Edmonds' abstract canvases going back 25 years. There are "energy wheel" paintings in bright colors, inspired by Edmonds' meditation, and two large "mapping" paintings that might seem to be nothing more than wavy lines in varied colors. There's a bit more to it.
Luis De Jesus Los Angeles began The Armory Show with a bang. With a compelling booth of newly created paintings by artists June Edmonds, Evita Tezeno, Vian Sora, Laura Krifka, and Nicolas Grenier, the gallery appeared to have one of the most visited booths at the fair. Within minutes of the opening, the gallery had sold work by Sora, Edmonds, and Tezeno. A gallery representative noted that sales were going strong by mid-day Thursday, with multiple pieces going to prominent collections in Malaysia, Texas, and Pittsburgh, plus institutional queries lined up for that evening.
The 2022 FVA fellows are: April Banks (Interdisciplinary-Mixed Media); Nao Bustamante (Interdisciplinary-Mixed Media); Enrique Castrejon (Installation); Patty Chang (Interdisciplinary-Mixed Media); June Edmonds (Painting); Reanne Estrada (Interdisciplinary-Mixed Media); Asher Hartman (Installation and Experimental Film and Video); Iris Yirei Hu (Installation); Phung Huynh (Painting); Young Joon Kwak (Interdisciplinary-Mixed Media); Sandra Low (Painting); and Suné Woods (Experimental Film and Video).
Representing a variety of fields, 180 recipients of 2022 Guggenheim Fellowships were announced on April 7. The artists include Tyrone Ta-columba Aiken, Lisa Corrine Davis, Nathaniel, Donnett, June Edmonds, Mark Thomas Gibson, Lisa E. Harris, Alisha Wormsley, Autumn Knight (film/video), Ja'Tovia Monique Gary (film/video) and Gary Burnley (photography).
A name unfamiliar to most will be June Edmonds. The Laband Art Gallery at Loyola Marymount University presents a thrilling solo exhibition serving as a forty-year survey of the Los Angeles-based artist. “June Edmonds: Full Spectrum” displays more than forty pieces made between 1980 and 2021, representing the first opportunity to offer attention to the artist’s lifelong commitment to portraying Black positivity in her artistic practice.
Los Angeles-based painter June Edmonds takes inspiration from the multiple inflections of the vesica pisces. Known for her large, abstract paintings depicting vibrant energetic wheels and neutral flags, Edmonds draws upon her meditation practice and American history — often highlighting the undertold chronicles of Black Americans — to create works that slow the viewer down, encouraging us to contemplate the myriad energies (and histories) coursing all around us.
Tracing her journey from figuration to abstraction, “Full Spectrum” at Laband Art Gallery surveys the practice of June Edmonds over the past 40 years. Edmonds was born in Los Angeles, where she continues to live and work. Over the years, consistently considered the complexity of the Black experience, through race and history. Early representational works are personal images of domestic scenes. More recently, Edmonds has employed a language of abstraction, utilizing shape, repetition, and color. She has explored little-known narratives of historic women, redlining, and the symbolism of the American flag. Providing the first opportunity to consider the full spectrum of Edmonds’s ouevre, more than 40 paintings and drawings, made between 1980 and 2021, are on view.
Nine years ago, June Edmonds made a painting that, if not an immediate turning point in the 40-year development of her work, nonetheless signaled a direction that has lately come into full flower. “Gee’s Jungle” (2012) is included in the aptly titled survey “June Edmonds: Full Spectrum,” at Loyola Marymount University’s Laband Art Gallery in Westchester. The painting is composed of about a dozen mandala-like geometric disks of saturated color — the full spectrum — rendered in short, thick strokes of dense paint, each laid on with controlled concentration.
The post-pandemic era can offer rewarding challenges, as I found out when engaging in my first Zoom interview. I spoke with painter and educator June Edmonds on the occasion of her current 40-year retrospective at the Laband Gallery, Loyola Marymount University, and a simultaneous solo show at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles.
June Edmonds is known for large-scale, dynamic abstract paintings that pay homage to African American figures and historical events. The concurrence of her 40-year survey, June Edmonds: Full Spectrum at Laband Art Gallery, Loyola Marymount University and an exhibition of her recent work, Joy of Other Suns, at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles is perfectly timed - during the current renaissance of Black art - for overdue critical recognition of her constantly evolving aesthetic style. The survey is accompanied by a 64-page catalogue with essays by Dr. Jill Monitz and Laband Art Gallery Director, Karen Rapp, that will be launched at the gallery in November and ensure her position in African-American art history.
A brand new exhibit has graced the Laband Art Gallery, "June Edmonds: Full Spectrum", which displays her best works from the past 40 years. The exhibit ranges from her first-ever oil painting to her most recent American flag collection –– but all pieces emphasize her commitment to Black positivity. For the past four years, Karen Rapp has been directing and curating the Laband Art Gallery for students and Westchester locals alike. “I became aware of June’s work a few years ago through her American flag paintings series for which she has received much acclaim. I wanted to present this 40-year survey of her career because she has been making stunning works from a Black feminist perspective that speak to everyone,” said Rapp.
The vibrant, curvilinear abstractions of June Edmonds have a backstory. Calling to mind travel routes and topographical mapping, her latest works explore race, history, and the Great Migration, paying tribute to Black female pioneers and early Southern California landowners. This gallery exhibition coincides with “June Edmonds: Full Spectrum,” a 40-year survey of Edmonds at Laband Art Gallery at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. Edmonds also recently installed a mural in La Jolla, Calif., and she is giving the Russell Lecture at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego on Oct. 27.
Full Spectrum is a 40-year survey of the work of Los Angeles-based artist June Edmonds, who has spent her career “centering Black American experience.” The show spans early portraits of herself and other Black women, prefiguring contemporary painters of African-American domesticity like Jennifer Packer,through recent abstract compositions made up of hundreds of individual, distinct brushstrokes. Concurrently, Luis de Jesus will be staging a show of contemporary work by Edmonds, Joy of Other Suns, up through October 30.
The newest installation in the Murals of La Jolla project is a highly saturated abstract painting by prestigious LA-based artist June Edmonds. Edmonds completed her undergrad at San Diego State. This piece is based upon Henrietta VanHorn-DeBose, who was the first African-American woman to settle in La Jolla, beginning in the early 1900s, and ultimately Henrietta and her husband Thomas DeBose would own multiple properties along Draper Ave.
The latest work in the Murals of La Jolla public art program, June Edmonds’ “Ebony on Draper and Girard,” was completed July 19. Unlike other murals that are printed out and hung on a building, this one was painted on a three-story column over several days on the alley-facing side of 7724 Girard Ave.
For Los Angeles-based artist June Edmonds, the in-production “Ebony on Draper and Girard” mural is about more than making a three-story statement on the alley-facing side of 7724 Girard Ave. in La Jolla. It’s a salute to Black women and their role in La Jolla’s development.After completing a mural inspired by Maria Valdez, the first Afro-Latina woman to own property in Beverly Hills, Edmonds was invited to create a piece for the Murals of La Jolla public art program. She researched names such as Henrietta VanHorn-DeBose and Carrie Coleman, who were among the first to own property on Girard and Draper avenues.
The show also features work by June Edmonds, André Hemer, Kambui Olujimi, and Edra Soto. This Saturday, December 19, all six participating artists will be talking about “making art during a year unlike any other”in a Zoom conversation moderated by Luis De Jesus and Lindsay Preston Zappas, editor-in-chief of CARLA. While we sorely miss in-person events, remote talks like this one make it easier for all artists to participate, so don’t miss this rare occasion.
At Luis De Jesus in Culver City, a group show gathers a loose array of artworks that were made in response to recent events. With so many crises affecting our country, the work diverges in focus, addressing a range of issues: pandemic’s loneliness, the toppling of monuments, and the lives lost to police brutality. Unusually, the gallery has included artist statements next to each artwork, allowing the viewer into the thinking behind each work, and providing a connective personal tone across the exhibition
While group shows can sometimes lack a coherent vision, this one seems worth a trip. All of the works were made during the COVID-19 pandemic, ranging from bitingly political paintings to beautiful reflections on home. The featured artists are June Edmonds, André Hemer, Laura Krifka, Kambui Olujimi, Edra Soto, and Peter Williams.
Unreachable Spring is a group exhibition featuring artists prompted by a desire to take refuge in their work and address this transformational moment in a personal way.
If you’re looking to add to your art collection, or maybe even start one, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego brings back its biennial Art Auction. Bid on a variety of artworks for sale — from painting and sculpture to photography and works on paper — created by emerging and international artists including Leonardo Drew, June Edmonds, Luchita Hurtado, Jean Lowe and more.
An American painter based in Los Angeles, Edmonds has described her work as a “doorway to memory,” which is evident in the many allusions to longstanding African traditions and influential African Americans from bygone eras...“The bending lines of contrasting colors lead your eye around the painting, and in person, the texture invites a close look,” says Gilvin. “It intrigues me because of the almost dizzying experience of studying it, and because of its conceptual and formal conversations with other artworks.”
In this Episode I feature June Edmonds, a west coast based abstract painter that was awarded the AWARE prize during the 2020 Armory show in NYC. AWARE, an acronym for Archives of Women Artists, Research and Exhibitions, is a Paris based non profit that this year debuted an award for a Solo Exhibition of Work by a Woman Artist. June’s work was exhibited by Luis De Jesus Los Angeles.
The $10,000 Aware Prize for solo presentation by women artists was awarded to June Edmonds, whose politically charged paintings were represented at the fair by Luis De Jesus Los Angeles.
June Edmonds’ dark, seemingly abstract paintings at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles (Booth 827, Pier 94) are actually based on flags and their palettes are derived from a spectrum of black and brown skin complexions.
June Edmonds’s Flag Paintings explore the American flag as a symbol of ideals, promises, and identity. Each flag is associated with the narrative of an African American, past or present. Edmonds explores the psychological construct of skin color, utilizing the primary colors of brown skin tones to build symbols of American identity that reflect the broader changes in the racial and ethnic makeup of the country's population and the ideals and promises enshrined in the Constitution.
Additionally, the inaugural edition of the $10,000 Aware Prize for solo presentations by women artists—presented by the Paris-based nonprofit AWARE (Archives of Women Artists, Research, and Exhibitions) in partnership with the Armory Show—was given to June Edmonds, whose work at the fair is presented by the Los Angeles-based gallery Luis De Jesus. Edmonds is known for abstract paintings that explore race, gender, and politics, and the prize was juried by a cast including AWARE co-founder Camille Morineau, writer and curatorial activist Maura Reilly, and Swiss Institute director Simon Castets, among others.
The first-ever winner of the Armory Show's AWARE Prize is artist June Edmonds. The $10,000 juried prize was given for the excellence of the artist’s work and for the Luis de Jesus Los Angeles gallery’s courage to present a solo-female artist’s work in a market that has systematically undervalued art made by women. The prize's short list of five finalists also included Rina Banerjee, Yuko Nasaka, Aase Texmon Rygh and Alexis Smith. AWARE co-founder Camille Morineau said, “Edmonds was unanimously selected by the jurors, who coalesced around the discovery of her new Flag Paintings—a breakthrough body of never-before seen work by the artist presented by Luis de Jesus Los Angeles at this year’s Armory Show.”
As the kick off to the 2020 edition of the Armory Show edges closer and closer, the fair has announced a new art prize to add to its list of juried awards. The AWARE Prize, which will be presented for the first time this March, will deliver a $10,000 prize to one deserving female artist, or the artist’s estate, whose works will be exhibited in a solo presentation in the Galleries section of the Armory Show.
The artists shortlisted for the prize, funded by French nonprofit AWARE, are Yuko Nasaka, Rina Banerjee, Aase Texmon Rygh, Alexis Smith, and June Edmonds. The perception that art made by women is less valuable is one that the French nonprofit Archives of Women Artists, Research and Exhibitions (AWARE) seeks to correct. For the 2020 Armory Show, the international art fair held every year in New York City, AWARE will recognize a solo booth of a woman artist by a gallery at the fair with a $10,000 award to either a living artist or her estate.
When tasked with defining America, the forefathers of this country attempted to create a union that, though forged in rebellion to an oppressive regime, was ultimately funded by slave labor. By declaring this land a union where all men are created equal, only to deny representation and basic civil liberties to all who are not white men, the framers of our constitution bequeathed to us a contradiction that we are still working to correct today. Almost 250 years later, with the divisive nature of our political system and a multitude of bifurcation points within each party, it seems that defining the American identity has become nearly impossible.
A flag, any flag, is the very definition of a symbol, a thing that exists in the service of what it represents, such as a nation for example, or a movement. At the same time, a flag is also a color story, a designed image, and a made object. The American flag in particular enjoys status as both image and object as well as symbol. Its distinct patterns are perhaps the most recognizable and narratively fraught in the world. Laws prohibit its physical destruction, but not its use as elements of corporate logos, fashion items, and superheros.
Jasper Johns famously attributed the origin of his iconic painting of the American flag to a vision he had at night; likewise, June Edmonds arrived at her first stroke-by-stroke reconstitution of a flag through a dream she had in 2017, after she returned to her home town of Los Angeles from a residency in Paducah, Kentucky. In her case, though, it wasn't about the same stars and stripes; during her residency, while driving to Memphis, she had seen a wall-size Confederate flag—a looming, unapologetic beacon still standing on the Southern hillside—to which she later responded in a series of paintings.
June Edmonds, Allegiances and Convictions, at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles. An exhibition by the L.A.-based painter dwells on the significance of flags — both as visual statements and tokens of identity. In this case, each of her flags pays tribute to African American history past and present.
The solo exhibition of Los Angeles-based artist June Edmonds at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles is a series of multi-colored paintings inspired by the American flag. All of them, vertical, and in earth tones, evoking the variety of brown skin colors.