Luis De Jesus Los Angeles is very pleased to present an artist talk with represented artist Ken Gonzales-Day. In the talk, Gonzales-Day speaks about the work on view in his solo exhibition "Another Land."
The drawings in Another Land are derived from a collection of original paintings, drawings and prints presented in the first exhibition on lynching in the United States entitled, An Art Commentary on Lynching, held at the Arthur U. Newton Galleries in New York City from February 15 through March 2, 1935. It was organized by Walter White, Executive Secretary of the NAACP, who had revived the NAACP’s legislative campaign against lynching and sought support for the Costigan-Wagner bill, which was introduced into Congress in 1934 but never passed.
A set of four larger-scale drawings looks at the history of conquest and colonization in the Americas. The first drawing Gonzales-Day completed in this series, drawn to scale, is based on Landscape with an Episode from the Conquest of America (c.1535) by the Dutch Renaissance painter Jan Jansz Mostaert. The conquistadores and indigenous peoples have been removed to invite further consideration of the history and legacies of settler colonialism on indigenous cultures, on the land, and in the formation of what scholar Claudia Rankine has termed, The Racial Imaginary.
Ken Gonzales-Day’s interdisciplinary and conceptually grounded photographic projects consider the history of photography, the construction of race, and the limits of representational systems. Gonzales-Day is a Getty scholar and a Terra Foundation, Smithsonian Museum and Guggenheim fellow. In 2018, he was the subject of a solo exhibition at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. Currently, he is Professor of Art, and the Fletcher Jones Chair in Art at Scripps College. Gonzales-Day’s exhaustive research and book Lynching in the West, 1850-1935 (Duke Univ. Press, 2006) led to a re-evaluation of the history of lynching in this country. The book shed light on the little-known history of frontier justice and vigilantism and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.