Black Monolith II (For Ralph Ellison)
Black Monolith II is part of a series that pays tribute to influential Black figures in simplified forms inspired by stelae, or commemorative stone monuments, from ancient Crete. Jack Whitten created this version, dedicated to the novelist and literary critic Ralph Ellison, the year of the author’s death. The silhouette-like shadow draws parallels with Ellison’s best-known work, Invisible Man, which Whitten described as portraying “the exact dimensions of being Black in America.”
Acrylic, molasses, copper, salt, coal, ash, chocolate, onion, herbs, rust, eggshell, razor blade on canvas
Proper right side of canvas/stretcher: "Black Monolith II: For R.W. Ellison April 1994 J. Whitten"
William K. Jacobs, Jr. Fund
This item is not on view
Jack Whitten (American, 1939-2018). Black Monolith II (For Ralph Ellison), 1994. Acrylic, molasses, copper, salt, coal, ash, chocolate, onion, herbs, rust, eggshell, razor blade on canvas, 58 x 52 in. (147.3 x 132.1 cm). Brooklyn Museum, William K. Jacobs, Jr. Fund, 2014.65. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Image Courtesy of Alexander Gray Associates, CUR.2014.65_Alexander_Gray_Associates_photograph.jpg)
. Image Courtesy of Alexander Gray Associates, 2014
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© Jack Whitten
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