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Barbara Chase-Riboud


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Matisse's Back in Twins, 1967/1994
polished bronze and silk on painted steel base
75 1/4" x 39" x 18"

Meta Mondrian, 1967
polished aluminum and silk
19 1/4" x 10 1/8" x 7"

Time Womb #1, 1967
polished bronze and silk
71" x 32" x 17"

Cord and Two Stones, 1973
charcoal and charcoal pencil on paper
19 5/8" x 25 1/2", signed and dated 

Untitled, 1973
charcoal and charcoal pencil on paper
29" x 20 1/2" / 73.7 x 52.1 cm
signed and dated

Marquis de Sade Monument, Charenton, 1997
charcoal, charcoal pencil, and ink with engraving and aquatint on paper
31 1/2" x 24", signed and dated

Monument to Sheba, c.1997
charcoal, charcoal pencil, and ink with engraving and aquatint on paper
31 1/2" x 23 3/4" / 80 x 60.3 cm

The Foley Square Monument New York, 1996-97
charcoal, charcoal pencil, and ink with engraving and aquatint on paper
31 1/2" x 24", signed and dated

Malcolm X #9, 2007
bronze with black patina, silk, wool and synthetic fibers with steel support
83 1/2" x 23" x 14"

Malcolm X #17, 2016
polished bronze and silk with steel support
92" x 41" x 36"


Exhibitions


New & Noteworthy

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Artist Information

I love silk, and it's one of the strongest materials in the world and lasts as long as the bronze.  So it's not a weak material vs. a strong material so the transformation that happens in the steles is not between two unequal things but two equal things that interact and transform each other."
—Barbara Chase-Riboud

For over fifty years, Barbara Chase-Riboud has created profound sculpture and drawings that are deeply connected to history, identity, and sense of place. She is known for her monumental metal and fiber abstractions that combine a range of dichotomies central to her practice: hard/soft, male/female, two-dimensional/three-dimensional, Western/non-Western, stationary/in flux, figurative/abstract, power/beauty. In 1958, she created her first bronzes through the direct lost wax method, a technique she returned to a decade later to produce the abstract sculptures for which she became known. She started creating thin sheets of wax that she could bend, fold, meld, or sever in order to create unique models, which she would then bring to a local foundry for casting. This new approach to the lost-wax casting process enabled her to produce large-scale sculptures comprised of ribbons of bronze and aluminum. In 1967, she added fiber to these metal elements, devising the seemingly paradoxical works for which she became famous—tall, sturdy sculptures of cast metal resting on supports hidden by cascading skeins of silk or wool so that the fibers seem to support the metal. Of these works were a group of steles memorializing Malcolm X and his transformation “from a convict to a world leader.” His assassination in 1965, which upset the artist, was the impetus for the creation of her first works in the series, begun in 1969. Additions to the series came in 2003, 2007-08 and 2016-17, totaling twenty sculptures. Known collectively as the Malcolm X Steles, the first thirteen sculptures were exhibited in 2014 to acclaim at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Berkeley Art Museum (University of California Berkeley).

Born in 1939 in Philadelphia, Barbara Chase-Riboud began taking art classes at the Philadelphia Art Museum and the Samuel S. Fleisher Art Memorial at an early age. Wrongly accused of plagiarizing a poem she had written, Autumn Leaves, her mother had her removed from middle school and tutored at home before enrolling her in the Philadelphia High School for Girls in 1948. Four years later, Chase-Riboud graduated from high school and began studying at Temple University’s Tyler School of Art. Following an exhibition of her prints at the ACA Gallery in New York in 1954, The Museum of Modern Art purchased her woodcut Reba in 1955. The following year, she graduated from Temple with a BFA, won a Mademoiselle guest-editorship award and moved to New York to take a job with Charm magazine. In 1957, on the recommendation of noted art director Leo Lionni, she won a John Hay Whitney Fellowship to study at the American Academy in Rome. While in Rome, in 1958, she had her first European exhibitions at the American Academy and at Galleria L’Obelisco and her work was included in the first annual Festival of the Two Worlds in Spoleto. At this time, she also traveled to Egypt, an experience which would profoundly influence her mature work. She returned to the United States in September of 1958 with a fellowship to pursue her MFA at Yale University School of Design and Architecture. There, she befriended the artist Sheila Hicks and studied with Josef Albers, Phillip Johnson, Paul Rand, Alvin Eisenman, and Louis Kahn, among others. Soon after, her sculpture Bull-Fighter was included in the 1958 Pittsburgh International Exhibition of Contemporary Painting and Sculpture at the Carnegie Mellon Institute. In 1960, the twenty-one-year-old artist completed her first commissioned public work, the Wheaton Plaza Fountain in Maryland (since destroyed), and received her MFA from Yale, the first African American woman to do so.

Later that year, Chase-Riboud moved to Europe, settling in France. In Paris, she was hired as an art director by the New York Times International and began a successful sculpting career, establishing her studio in 1962. In 1965, Chase-Riboud traveled to the People’s Republic of China with her first husband, French photographer Marc Eugène Riboud, as the first American woman invited to visit the country since its political revolution. The following year, she received a sculpture commission from fashion designer Pierre Cardin and represented the United States in the first World Festival of Negro Arts held in Dakar, Senegal. Later that same year, she also had her first major gallery show, held at the Galerie Cadran Solaire in Paris. In 1969, the exhibition 7 Américains de Paris opened at the Galerie Air France in New York, where Chase-Riboud exhibited five new sculptures including Sheila, which, significantly, was her first work to combine cast metal and fiber. She also traveled to Algiers, Algeria for the first Pan-African Cultural Festival. In 1970, four works from the Malcolm X series were shown at the Bertha Schaefer Gallery in New York and later that year, at the Hayden Gallery at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA. At this time, the Betty Parsons Gallery in New York began representing the artist. In 1970, she participated in the exhibition Contemporary American Sculpture at the Whitney Museum of American Art, becoming, alongside Betye Saar, the first African American woman to exhibit at the museum. In 1973, the exhibition Chase-Riboud, organized by Peter Selz, was shown at the University Art Museum in Berkeley, CA, traveling to the Detroit Institute of Arts and the Indianapolis Museum of Art. In 1974, she held solo exhibitions at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris and at the Kunstmuseum Düsseldorf and Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden in Germany. In 1975, following an exhibition at Betty Parsons Gallery, she departed on a month-long lecture and solo exhibition tour of Africa, organized by the U.S. State Department, with venues in Tunisia, Mali, Sierra Leone, Ghana and Senegal. In 1977, she was included in the prestigious Documenta VI in Kassel, Germany and two years later, she participated in the 3rd Biennale of Sydney: European Dialogue in Sydney, Australia.

In 1985, Barbara Chase-Riboud established a studio in the Palazzo Ricci in Rome, neighboring with Cy Twombly. In 1990, she began her La Musica series, inspired by singer Marian Anderson and she participated in the Pasadena City College’s fourth annual Artists in Residence program. In 1995, she exhibited in the Fujisankei Biennale International Exhibition for Contemporary Sculpture at the Hakone Open-Air Museum, Hakone, Japan. That same year, Chase-Riboud won a commission from the U.S. General Services Administration to create the sculpture Africa Rising, commemorating the recently discovered African Burial Ground in Lower Manhattan, a colonial-era cemetery for free and enslaved Africans. Three years later, Africa Rising would be installed in the lobby of the Ted Weiss Federal Building, adjacent to Foley Square in Lower Manhattan, where it can be viewed to this day. In 1996, she began work on her Monument Drawings series, created, as with the Malcolm X series, as tributes to historical figures. In 1999, Peter Selz and Anthony F. Janson completed their monograph Barbara Chase-Riboud: Sculptor, published by Harry N. Abrams, and in 2009, the Johns Hopkins University Press published a special issue of the journal Callaloo, devoted entirely to the artist.

Although known for her achievements in sculpture and drawing, Chase-Riboud is equally renowned for her literary success. In 1974, she published her first book of poetry, From Memphis & Peking, edited by Toni Morrison and published by Random House, to critical acclaim. Five years later, with the encouragement of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, she published her first novel, Sally Hemings (Viking Press, 1979), which won the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize in Fiction by an American Woman. The book, about the relationship between Thomas Jefferson and his slave Sally Hemings, became an international bestseller and would later be translated in ten languages. Its sequel, The President’s Daughter, was published by Ballantine Books in 1994. Other works in literature include Valide: A Novel of the Harem (William Morrow, 1986); a book of poetry Portrait of a Nude Woman as Cleopatra (William Morrow, 1987), which won the Carl Sandburg Award for best American poet from the International Platform Association; Echo of Lions: A Novel of the Amistad, about the Amistad revolt (William Morrow, 1989); and Roman Égyptien, a book of French poetry (Éditions du Félin, 1994). In 2003, Hottentot Venus was published by Doubleday, a historical novel about Sarah Baartman, which was nominated for the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award and won the Black Caucus of the American Library Association Literary Award for Fiction. In 2007, she returned to China to complete a travelogue of her 1965 trip, titled 10,000 Kilometers of Silk. In 2011, she completed an English version of Roman Égyptien (titled Egypt’s Nights) and the historical novel The Great Mrs. Elias. In 2013, she completed the following literary works: Helicopter, a verse novel; Letters to My Mother from an American in Paris: A MemoirEvery Time a Knot is Undone, a God Is Released: Collected Poems; and Pannonica & Thelonious, a melologue for a screenplay.  Barbara Chase-Riboud’s papers and manuscripts were acquired by Emory University’s Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library (MARBL) in 2014.

Chase-Riboud has been the recipient of numerous awards and honorary degrees, including: a Doctorate of Fine Arts from Temple University (1981), a Doctorate of Letters from Muhlenberg College (1993), the James Van Der Zee Award (now known as the Brandywine Lifetime Achievement Award) from the Brandywine Workshop (1995), a Doctorate of Letters from the University of Connecticut (1996), the Women’s Caucus for Art Lifetime Achievement Award from the College Art Association (2007), the Alain Locke International Award from the Detroit Institute of Arts (2007), and the Tannie Award in the Visual Arts in Paris (2013). In 1996, she was knighted by the French government as Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

Her work has also been exhibited at numerous institutions worldwide. Currently, she is featured in the exhibition Making Space: Women Artists and Postwar Abstraction at The Museum of Modern Art. In addition, her sculpture Confessions for Myself (1972), which was commissioned by Peter Selz and the Berkeley Art Museum for her first single-artist museum exhibition in 1973, is on view in the Brooklyn Museum’s exhibition We Wanted a Revolution: Black, Radical Women, 1965-85. This summer, her work will also be included in the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art exhibition Magnetic Fields: Expanding American Abstraction, 1960s to Today.

Major institutions with work by Chase-Riboud in their permanent collections include the Berkeley Art Museum, University of California; The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, NY); Ministry of Culture, France; The Museum of Modern Art (New York, NY); National Collections of France; Newark Museum (NJ); New Orleans Museum of Art (LA); New-York Historical Society Museum (NY); the Philadelphia Museum of Art (PA); and The Studio Museum in Harlem (New York, NY).

Chase-Riboud continues to live and work between Paris, Rome and Milan. Michael Rosenfeld Gallery proudly announced representation of Barbara Chase-Riboud in 2014.

 

“Third Space: Shifting Conversations about Contemporary Art”
Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, AL
January 28, 2017 – January 6, 2019

“Approaching Abstraction: African American Art from the Permanent Collection”
La Salle University Art Museum, Philadelphia, PA
March 15 – June 15, 2017

“Making Space: Women Artists and Postwar Abstraction”
The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
April 15–August 13, 2017

“We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965-85”
Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY
April 21 – September 17, 2017

California African American Museum, Los Angeles, CA
October 13, 2017 - January 14, 2018

Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY
February 17 - May 27, 2018

Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA
June 26 - September 30, 2018

“Magnetic Fields: Expanding American Abstraction, 1960s to Today”
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO
June 8 - September 17, 2017

“20/20: The Studio Museum in Harlem and Carnegie Museum of Art”
Carnegie Museum of Art, Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, PA
July 22 – December 31, 2017

SELECTED MUSEUM COLLECTIONS

Berkeley Art Museum, University of California
Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, AL
Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, ME
Cameron Art Museum, Wilmington, NC
Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Hampton University, Hampton, VA
Howard University, Washington, DC
La Salle University Art Museum, Philadelphia, PA
Lannan Foundation, Santa Fe, NM
The Library of Congress, Washington, DC
MARBL Emory University, Druid Hills, GA
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
Ministry of Culture, France
The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
National Collections of France
National College Board Association, New York, NY
Newark Museum, Newark, NJ
New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, LA
New York Historical Society Museum, New York, NY
Pasadena College, Pasadena, CA
Philadelphia Art Alliance, Philadelphia, PA
Philadelphia Board of Education, Philadelphia, PA
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA
Schoenburg Collection, New York Public Library, New York, NY
Scribbs College, Los Angeles, CA
Smithsonian African American Museum, Washington, DC
St. John’s University, New York, NY
The State Museum of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, PA
The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY
Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
United States General Services Administration, Washington, DC
University of Delaware, Newark, DE
Wilfredo Lam Contemporary Art Center, Havana, Cuba

SELECTED PERSONAL EXHIBITIONS

1958
Galleria l’Obelisco, Rome, Italy
American Academy, Rome, Italy
Festival of Two Worlds, Spoleto, Italy

1966
Galerie Cadran Solaire, Paris, France

1970
Bertha Schaefer Gallery, New York, NY
Monuments to Malcolm X, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Hayden Gallery, Cambridge, MA

1972
Betty Parsons Gallery, New York, NY

1973
University Art Museum, Berkeley, CA; Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, MI; Indianapolis Art Museum, Indianapolis, IN
Leslie Tonkonow Gallery, New York, NY
Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH

1974
Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris, France
Staatliche Kunstalle, Baden Baden, Germany
Kunstmuseum, Düsseldorf, Germany
Merian Gallery, Krefeld, Germany

1975
Betty Parsons Gallery, New York, NY
United States Cultural Center, Tunis, Tunisia
United States Cultural Center, Bamako, Mali
United States Cultural Center, Freetown, Sierra Leone
United States Cultural Center, Accra, Ghana
United States Cultural Center, Dakar, Senegal
Musée d’Art Contemporain, Teheran, Iran

1976
Kunstverein, Freiburg, Germany
Musée Reattu, Arles, France

1977
Documenta VI, Kassel, Germany

1980
Bronx Museum, Bronx, NY

1981
Sergio Tosi Stampatore Gallery, New York, NY

1990
Pasadena College Art Gallery and Sculpture Garden, Pasadena, CA

1994
Espace Kiron, Paris, France

1997
Ken Keleba Gallery, New York, NY

1998
Stella Jones Gallery, New Orleans, LA
Diggs Gallery, Winston-Salem, NC
Bianca Pilat Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL
Barbara Chase-Riboud: The Monument Drawings, St. John’s Museum of Art, Wilmington, NC

1999
Barbara Chase-Riboud: The Monument Drawings, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
Achim Moeller Gallery, New York, NY

2000
Barbara Chase-Riboud: The Monument Drawings, African American Museum, Philadelphia, PA; Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore, MD

2001
Walter Gomez Gallery, Baltimore, MD

2002
G.R. N’Nambi Gallery, Detroit, MI
G.R. N’Nambi Gallery, Chicago, IL

2004
Chase-Riboud, Galleria Giulia, Rome, Italy

2013
Barbara Chase-Riboud: The Malcolm X Steles, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA; Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley, CA

2014
Barbara Chase-Riboud: One Million Kilometers of Silk, Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC, New York, NY

2017
Barbara Chase-Riboud: The 1960s & 1970s, Frieze New York, New York, NY
Barbara Chase-Riboud – Malcolm X: Complete, Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC, New York, NY

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

1954
Scholastic Art Awards, ACA Gallery, New York, NY

1958
International Exhibition of Painting and Sculpture Biennale, Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, PA

1959
National Painting and Drawing Exhibition, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA

1961
Salon de Mai, Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris, France

1965
The New York Architectural League Selection, Commercial Museum, Philadelphia, PA

1966
Premier Festival Mondial des Arts Nègres, 10 Artists des États-Unis, Dakar, Senegal

1969
7 Américains de Paris, Galerie Air France, New York, NY
L’Oeil Écoute, Musée Réatta, Festival of Avignon, Avignon, France

1970
Afro-American Artists New York/Boston, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
Contemporary American Sculpture, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY

1971
Salon des Nouvelles Réalities, Galeries Nationales d’Exposition du Grand Palais, Paris, France
Two Generations, Newark Museum of Art, Newark, NJ
Salon de la Jeune Sculpture, Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris, France
Contemporary Jewelry, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada
Contemporary Black Artists in America, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
Jewelry as Sculpture as Jewelry, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Canada

1972
Jewelry as Sculpture as Jewelry, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA
Gold, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; Toronto Gallery of Art, Toronto, Canada
Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY

1973
The Royal Ontario Art Museum, Montreal, Canada

1974
Masterworks of the Seventies, Albright Knox Gallery, New York, NY
Woman’s Work - American Art ’74, Museum of the Civic Center, Philadelphia, PA

1975
Merian Gallery Group Show, Cologne Art Fair, Germany

1976
The Sydney Biennial, Sydney, Australia

1977
The Object as Poet, National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC; American Craft Museum, New York, NY
Les Mains Regardant, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France
European Drawings, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada

1979
European Drawings, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
3rd Biennale of Sydney: European Dialogue, Sydney, Australia
Another Generation, The Studio Museum, Harlem, NY

1980
European Drawings, The Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia
Group Show, Miroir d’Encre, Brussels, Belgium
African-American Abstraction, P.S. 1, Long Island City, Queens, NY

1981
African-American Abstraction, Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, NY
Forever Free, Center of Visual Arts Gallery, Normal, Illinois; Montgomery Museum of Fine Art, Montgomery, AL

1982
African-American Abstraction, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, IN

1983
Noeuds et Ligatures, F.N.A.P. Rothschild Museum, Paris, France

1984
East/West Contemporary American Art, California Afro-American Museum, Los Angeles, CA

1992
Paris Connections, Bomini Gallery, San Francisco, CA

1995
The Second Fujisankei Biennale: International Exhibition for Contemporary Sculpture, Hakone, Japan
The Listening Sky, The Studio Museum, Harlem, NY

1996
Three Generations of African American Women Sculptors: A Study in Paradox, African American Historical and Cultural Museum, Philadelphia, PA; The Equitable Gallery, New York, NY
Explorations in the City of Light: African-American Artists in Paris, 1915-1965, The Studio Museum, Harlem, NY; Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago, IL; New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, LA
Bearing Witness: Contemporary African American Women Artists, Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, Atlanta, GA; Tuskegee University Art Gallery, Tuskegee, AL

1997
Three Generations of African American Women Sculptors: A Study in Paradox, California African-American Museum, Los Angeles, CA; Telfair Museum of Art, Savannah, GA
Explorations in the City of Light: African-American Artists in Paris, 1915-1965, Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth, TX; Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI
Bearing Witness: Contemporary African American Women Artists, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Fort Wayne, IN; St. Paul Museum, St. Paul, MN

1998
Three Generations of African American Women Sculptors: A Study in Paradox, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC
Bearing Witness: Contemporary African American Women Artists, Museum of African-American Culture, Fort Worth, TX

1999
Bearing Witness: Contemporary African American Women Artists, Portland Museum of Art, Portland, OR; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas
Design Awards, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC

2000
New Acquisitions, Philadelphia Art Museum, Philadelphia, PA

2001
Cleopatra from History to Myth, The British Museum, London, UK

2006
Abstraction, Energy Experimentation, The Studio Museum, Harlem, NY
Legacies: Contemporary Artists Reflect on Slavery, The New York Historical Society, New York, NY 

2008
[un]common threads, Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC, New York, NY

2009
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA

2012
The Annual, The National Academy of Arts, New York, NY
Art Festival of Two Worlds, Dakar, Senegal

2014
Witness:  Art and Civil Rights in the Sixties, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, NY; Hood Museum of Art, Hanover, NH

2015
Represent: 200 Years of African American Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA
Inaugural Exhibit of the Pennsylvania Arts, The State Museum of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, PA
Nero su Bianco, American Academy in Rome, Italy, curated by Robert Storr
We Speak: Black Artists in Philadelphia, 1920s-1970s, Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia, PA

2016
The Color Line: African American Artists and the Civil Rights in the United States, Musee du Quai Branly, Paris, France
Circa 1970, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY

2017
Third Space: Shifting Conversations about Contemporary Art, Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, AL
We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965–85, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY; California African American Museum, Los Angeles, CA; Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY; Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA
Magnetic Fields: Conversations in Abstraction by Black Women Artists 1960-Present, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO
Approaching Abstraction: African American Art from the Permanent Collection, La Salle University Art Museum, Philadelphia, PA
20/20: The Studio Museum in Harlem and Carnegie Museum of Art, Carnegie Museum of Art, Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, PA
Making Space: Women Artists and Postwar Abstraction, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
The Time Is N♀w, Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC, New York, NY

2018
Out of Easy Reach, Rebuild Foundation, Chicago, IL

AWARDS & DEGREES

1956
Bachelor of Fine Arts, Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA

1957
John Hay Whitney Fellowship to study at the American Academy in Rome

1960
Master of Fine Arts, School of Design and Architecture, Yale University, New Haven, CT

1979
Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize in Fiction by an American Woman for her novel Sally Hemings (Viking Press, 1979)

1981
Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA

1993
Honorary Doctorate of Letters, Muhlenberg College, Allentown, PA

1987
Carl Sandburg Award for best American poet from the International Platform Association for her anthology of poetry, Portrait of a Nude Woman as Cleopatra (Willam Morrow, 1987)

1995
James Van Der Zee Award, Brandywine Workshop, Philadelphia, PA

1996
Knighthood, Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, government of France

1996
Honorary Doctorate of Letters, University of Connecticut, Mansfield, CT

2003
Black Caucus of the American Library Association Literary Award for Fiction for her novel Hottentot Venus (Doubleday, 2003)

2007
Women’s Caucus for Art Lifetime Achievement Award, College Art Association, New York, NY

2007
Alain Locke International Award, Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, MD

2013
Tannie Award in the Visual Arts, Paris, France

PUBLIC COMMISSIONS

1960
Wheaton Plaza Fountain, Wheaton, MD - now destroyed

1995
U.S. General Services Administration, New York, NY - sculpture Africa Rising, now installed in Ted Weiss Federal Building

ABOUT THE MONUMENT DRAWINGS

In 1996 and 1997, Barbara Chase- Riboud executed an ambitious series of twenty-four works on paper that comprise The Monument Drawings. Each image combines a variety of techniques and media:  charcoal, charcoal pencil, and ink with engraving and aquatint on paper and each measure approximately 31 ½ x 24 inches.

The series was conceived by Barbara Chase-Riboud as hypothetical, large-scale public monuments that serve as homages to various political, cultural, and artistic figures and forces.  The suite constitutes the first major body of Chase-Riboud’s graphic work to be shown in the United States in more than two decades.

Elements of Chase- Riboud’s signature work -- classicism, archaeology, European Baroque, and poetic narrative -- converge in The Monument Drawings, weaving together a wide range of ideas, interests, and motifs to form a complex unity. In nearly all of the drawings in this series the artist also incorporates a mysterious, illegible script that alludes to her poetry but dispenses with specific meaning or content.[1]

About this significant body of work, Chase-Riboud describes, “For many years I kept a great divide between my writing and my graphic work and sculpture as I felt it was very dangerous to confuse, merge, or combine two professions and expect to be taken seriously. It was Anthony F. Janson, author of Janson’s History of Art, who insisted that there was, had to be, a profound connection between the drawings and the poetry. He decided to mount an exhibition in 1998 to prove it, called Monument Drawings. Initially, this series had been combined with earlier drawings, but in the end I made twenty-four drawings in charcoal pencil especially for the exhibition. I etched onto the drawing paper an independent element of stone legated by silk cords, which was integrated into each of these drawings and served as a leit-motif. Drawing for me by this time had become the same as and of parallel importance to the writing of poetry, and I had already published two volumes of poems, one of which, Portrait of a Nude Woman as Cleopatra, had won the Carl Sandburg Award for best American poet.

In this series of drawing, which begin with an engraved element that remains the same in every drawing, gathering them together under one dark and mysterious banner, the stone cord object that hovers or is buried within the drawing becomes the central agent of the ensemble, visible but hidden, active but secret. Is this black stone legated in silk related to the person whose monument this is, or is it completely alien, from another country or epoch?”[2]

Having been credited by Chase-Riboud for mounting the first exhibition to exclusively feature the Monument Drawings, Anthony F. Janson has been a long-time supporter of the artist and this particular series. Janson expresses, “Barbara Chase-Riboud’s drawings have been exhibited to critical acclaim in the United States, Europe, and Canada, and are represented in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Yet The Monument Drawings occupy a unique place in Chase-Riboud’s oeuvre. They are aptly named: not only are they of unprecedented size for this artist, but they have a bold presence and vigorous execution surpassing anything she has done previously in this vein. The Monument Drawings bear an intimate relationship to the sculpture and writing on which Chase-Riboud’s reputation rests. While consistent with the new direction her recent work has taken, they must be understood in the context of her career as a whole, for they are the outgrowth of more than thirty years’ experience as an international artist.”[3]



[1] Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY , Press Release on the occasion of the exhibition Barbara Chase-Riboud: The Monument Drawings, June 22 – September 5, 1999

[2] Basualdo, Carlos, ed., Barbara Chase-Riboud: The Malcolm X Steles, Philadelphia Museum of Art (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2013) pp. 89-90

[3] Selz, Peter and Anthony F. Janson, Barbara Chase-Riboud: Sculptor, (New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1999), p. 87

 

 

Papers of artist/writer Barbara Chase-Riboud acquired by Emory

The papers of Barbara Chase-Riboud, a sculptor, printmaker, novelist and poet, have been acquired by the Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library (MARBL) at Emory University. The collection, open to researchers, joins a growing archive at MARBL dedicated to art, art history and literature.

Chase-Riboud will be at Emory on Saturday, Oct. 18, as part of the 2014 Callaloo conference hosted by Emory's Creative Writing Program. Her presentation, "The Making of Art," takes place at 2 p.m. in room E208 in the university's Math and Science Center. All conference sessions are free and open to the public.

She has authored a newly-published poetry collection, "Everytime a Knot is Undone, a God is Released" (Seven Stories Press), which will be for sale following the event.

"The multidimensional elements of her art – from sculpture to poetry to fiction – connect beautifully across the rich array of our collections," says Rosemary Magee, director of MARBL. "Ms. Chase-Riboud's papers strengthen our expanding research and instructional materials in literature and art history."

About Chase-Riboud

Born in Philadelphia in 1939, Barbara Chase began her formal training in art when she was seven years old; by age 15, one of her pieces had been acquired by the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York City. She holds fine arts degrees from Temple University, where she studied at the Tyler School of Art, and Yale University, and she studied at the American Academy in Rome on a John Hay Whitney Fellowship. During her time abroad, she also visited Egypt and discovered non-Western art.

Since 1961, she has made her home outside the United States, although she returns frequently to conduct research and exhibit her work. In 1961, she moved to Paris and married French photographer Marc Riboud. Her work, which has been exhibited extensively in the U.S., France, and elsewhere internationally, is perhaps best known for its combination of contradictory materials and elements – bronze and silk, lightness and weight, organic and man-made.

In 1979, Chase-Riboud published her first novel, "Sally Hemings," a work of historical fiction based on the complex relationship between Thomas Jefferson and Hemings, his slave, with whom he had several children. Her novels have received various awards, including the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize, and have been listed on bestseller lists throughout the world. She has also published several volumes of poetry, including "Portrait of a Nude Woman as Cleopatra," which won the Carl Sandburg Award for Poetry in 1988.

A longtime resident of France, Chase-Riboud has published in both English and French, and she has exhibited her sculptural work in some of Paris' most prestigious museums and galleries. In 1996, Chase-Riboud was awarded the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres, one of the highest cultural awards granted by the French government. She currently divides her time between Paris, where she resides with her second husband, Sergio Tosi, and Rome, where she maintains a sculpture studio.

About the archive

Chase-Riboud's papers, ranging from manuscripts and audiovisual material to photographs and letters, cover the span of her life, from 1939 to today. The majority of the collection is research for and drafts of her novels and poetry volumes, as well as drafts of several unpublished works. Drawings and preparatory material for her sculptures are also included.

The Chase-Riboud collection joins MARBL's continually growing and globally-oriented archive of material relating to visual and literary culture. Randall K. Burkett, MARBL curator of African American Collections, noted that Chase-Riboud was awarded the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres on the same day the honor was bestowed on Seamus Heaney, whose collection is also represented in MARBL.

"It is a privilege," Burkett says, "to have Chase-Riboud's papers join those of Heaney, of Salman Rushdie, Alice Walker and other figures of international accomplishment and acclaim."

http://news.emory.edu/stories/2014/10/upress_chase_riboud_papers/campus.html