Jim Kempner Fine Art is pleased to announce UNSUNG, its first exhibition with the contemporary figurative painter Carole Freeman. The exhibition features twenty-four 12 x 9” portraits of little known or not-known-enough American heroes who represent a range of social and political issues including sexual harassment, fake news and the “post-truth” moment, racism, the environment, terrorism, Islamophobia, and civil, LGBTQ and women’s rights. Unsung will run from March 17- April 22, 2018, with an opening reception on Saturday, March 17, from 4-6 pm.
Carole Freeman subversively takes on topical issues through her depictions of controversial and courageous figures. Consideration of historical and present day events and statistical details led to a roster of subjects who reflect the diversity of the US population. Subjects are as varied as a physician, intellectuals, a mother, pilots, a miner, a sex educator, and politicians. Freeman’s portraits, realized from sourced images, are imbued with a compelling and vivid immediacy. Modest in size yet powerful in concept and execution, these luminous paintings affirm the quiet potency of the portrait genre. UNSUNG, an implied yet meaningful meditation on the present US political climate, offers an aesthetic and provocative chant for the possibilities of beauty and good in chaos.
Examples from the exhibition include William Moore McCulloch who worked tirelessly for equal rights at the risk of political suicide and was recognized by President Kennedy for his important influence in passing the Civil Rights Act; Edward Brooke, one of the first Republicans to call on President Nixon to resign in light of the Watergate scandal; Mose Wright, the great uncle of Emmett Till, who in 1955 testified at the trial of the men who brutally abducted, tortured, and murdered a fourteen-year-old African-American boy for allegedly whistling at a white woman; and Lois Jenson, a Minnesota miner who, in 1988, led Lois E. Jenson v. Eveleth Taconite Co. and won the first class-action sexual harassment lawsuit in the United States.
Also represented are four New Yorkers: Jane Jacobs, a journalist, author, and activist who fought and stopped the Robert Moses Lower Manhattan Expressway; Amy Goodman who is an investigative journalist considered a “guardian of truth” by Rolling Stone magazine, and the host and producer of the news program Democracy Now!; Muhammed Salman Hamdani, a Muslim NYC Police Department cadet killed while helping others during the aftermath of 9/11 yet falsely investigated for possible involvement; and Sylvia Rae Rivera, a transgender activist and self-proclaimed drag queen who was a founding member of the Gay Liberation Front, Gay Activists Alliance, and the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR) organization.