April 17, 2014 | Queens College
— 40 Digital Prints by Abdias Nascimento Focus on Afro-Brazilian Orixás —
FLUSHING, NY, April 16, 2014 – Abdias Nascimento (1914-2011), author, playwright, senator and artist, was a critical political figure in Brazil and the African diaspora and a founding force for all those involved in Brazil’s black movement. His artworks have been featured throughout Europe, the U.S. and Brazil – at the Studio of Museum of Harlem, the Gallery of African Art (Washington, DC), and the Ministry of Culture in Rio de Janeiro, as well as in Paris and Lagos.
On Monday, April 28, Queens College’s Godwin-Ternbach Museum will showcase an exhibition of Nascimento’s works, on view through June 21. The exhibition features 40 large-scale, brilliantly colored digital prints of Nascimento’s art based on the theme of orixás—the forces of nature and mediators between heaven and earth, humans and the gods. Nascimento’s paintings bring together and permit dialogues between Candomblé and her “sister” religion of Santería as practiced in the Caribbean (Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic, et al.) as well as Haitian Vodou. Both Santería and Vodou are practiced widely in NYC and Nascimento’s artworks initiate a broader diasporic conversation about the Americas, Africa, and even Queens as a global crossroads, both today and historically.
An opening reception on Wednesday, April 30 from 5:30-8 pm will include a roundtable on “Abdias Nascimento and Candomblé, Santería and Afro-Latino Politics in Brazil and Cuba.” Discussion participants are Amilcar Priestley, Esq., Director, Proyecto Afrolatin@ and son of George Priestley, Nascimento collaborator, founder of Proyecto Afrolatin@ and former director of QC’s Latin American and Latino Studies Program; Elisa Larkin Nascimento, co-founder and director of the Afro-Brazilian Research and Studies Institute, Rio de Janiero; John Collins, Director of QC’s program in Latin American and Latino Studies; Julie Skurski, Distinguished Lecturer in Anthropology at CUNY Graduate Center; and Nina Mercer, Playwright and Adjunct Prof, Medgar Evers College, CUNY. Professor Collins organized this project as part of Queens College’s “Year of Brazil.” The public is invited to attend the free reception and other lectures that will be held in May and June both on and off campus.
“The importance of Abdias Nascimento to 20th-century Brazilian and hemispheric politics, the quality of the artworks on display, and the significance of Brazil in global culture, cannot be underestimated,” says GTM director and curator Amy Winter.
“Through a series of panels and talks, visitors will have the rare opportunity to learn about and engage with the art and politics of this remarkable historical figure – the “Martin Luther King” of Brazil – and explore the little understood history, politics, and cultures of African Latin America itself.”
Future lecture and panel topics include “Flushing’s Role in the Atlantic Trade in People and Agricultural Commodities”; “Styling at the Afro Spot: Black Gods, Black Aesthetics”; “Out of Africa and Back In: Abdias Nascimento, the African Diaspora and Quilombismo”; and “Invisible Pharmacies, Queens’ Botánicas and the Economy of Healing”; and “Abdias Nascimento: Political Resistance, Art and The Sacred”. A full description of the exhibition and all programs will be available on the museum’s website.
This exhibition has been generously funded by the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, Transart, Queens College “Year of Brazil,” Queens College Latin American and Latino Studies program, and the Friends of the Godwin-Ternbach Museum. Major funding for public lectures and programs has been provided by the New York State Council for the Humanities.
Museum Hours and Location
The Godwin-Ternbach Museum is located on the campus of Queens College and is easily accessible from Manhattan and Long Island. The museum is open Monday through Thursday from 11 am to 7:00 pm; and Saturday from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm. It is closed on Fridays and during college recesses and holidays. All exhibitions and programs are FREE and open to the public. For further information call (718) 997-4747 or visit http://qcpages.qc.cuny.edu/godwin_ternbach
About the Godwin-Ternbach Museum at the Kupferberg Center for the Arts
The Godwin-Ternbach Museum is one of eight entities of the Kupferberg Center for the Arts. Its exhibitions and programs provide significant educational opportunities and aesthetic experiences to residents of Queens and the New York City metro area. The museum is the only comprehensive art collection in Queens and houses over 6,000 objects dating from ancient to modern times. The breadth of these holdings and the rich resources of the college allow for presentations that speak to the interests and needs of the diverse audiences that the GTM serves. Lectures, symposia, gallery talks, films, workshops and an active website complement and interpret the art on view.
About the Year of Brazil: Located in Queens, the most diverse county in the United States, and committed to providing students with a global education, Queens College offers cultural and academic programming focusing on a different nation each year. The Year of Brazil (2013-2014) encompasses a wide range of events, from student-sponsored activities on culture, sports, and daily life, to exhibitions, film screenings, and performances. The year also features student and faculty exchanges, academic offerings, and programs of distinction by members of the Brazilian community who are making world-class contributions. For more information about the Year of Brazil at Queens College visit http://brazil.qc.cuny.edu.