Faith Ringgold. American People Series #20: Die. 1967

Faith Ringgold American People Series #20: Die 1967

The Museum of Modern Art, Floor 5, Collection Galleries

The frenzied spectacle depicted here evokes the race riots that engulfed the United States in the 1960s. The composition is also reminiscent of Pablo Picasso's Guernica (1937)—the artist's response to the atrocities of the Spanish Civil War—which Ringgold visited regularly at The Museum of Modern Art. Ringgold's decision to present the figures of Die in business attire and fashionable dresses speaks to the hidden racial antagonisms that permeate even the most well-to-do segments of American society. The work was intended not only to address the tense race relations of the moment when it was made but also to express the artist's fear that racial violence would continue to escalate in the future.

Gallery label from 2016.
Medium
Oil on canvas, two panels
Dimensions
72 × 144" (182.9 × 365.8 cm)
Credit
Acquired through the generosity of The Modern Women's Fund, Ronnie F. Heyman, Eva and Glenn Dubin, Lonti Ebers, Michael S. Ovitz, Daniel and Brett Sundheim, and Gary and Karen Winnick
Object number
212.2016.a-b
Department
Painting and Sculpture

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