Radcliffe Bailey
(Bridgetown, Barbados, 1968)

To Be Titled (Black), 2021

Mixed media including burlap, acrylic paint, felt collages, metal component and mylar elements adhered to glazing
180,34 x 152,4 x 15,24 cm
[Photo: Ela Bialkowska, OKNO Studio, © ADAGP, Paris. Courtesy Pascale Marthine Tayou and GALLERIA CONTINUA, by SIAE 2021]

Radcliffe Bailey uses the layering of imagery, culturally resonant materials and text to explore themes of race, migration and collective memory. His work often incorporates found materials and objects from his past, including traditional African sculpture, ships, train tracks and Georgia red clay. The cultural significance and rhythmic properties of music are also important elements that can be seen throughout his oeuvre.

In To Be Titled (Black), 2021, individual experience serves as a departure point to excavate the collective consciousness of African diasporas and regional American identities. The elements linked to the train tracks are a reference to the artist’s father, who was a railroad engineer, but also to the many people of color who helped to build the railway system in the United States. Found objects and imagery present seemingly bygone pasts as contemporary, exploring and interweaving our shared histories. Often quilt-like in aesthetic, his works creates links between diasporic histories and potential futures, investigating the evolution or stagnation of notions of identity.

Radcliffe Bailey lives and works in Atlanta. He trained at Atlanta College of Art, Atlanta and has had his first solo exhibitions since 1992 in several exhibition spaces including: Knoxville Museum, Knoxville; the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield; Samson Projects, Boston; Big Pond Artworks, Munich. He exhibited at the 16th Istanbul Biennial in 2019, Dak’Art 2014: Biennale de l’Art Africain Contemporain, Dakar, in 2014, Havana Biennial in 2009. His works are part of the collections of several museums in the United States.