A solo exhibition by Baltimore-based artist Stephen Towns, comprised of paintings and quilts, examining the American dream through the lives of Black Americans. His work draws visual inspiration from medieval altarpieces, nineteenth-century photography, and Dutch wax print fabrics, as well as from African American story quilts. Using labor as a backdrop, Towns highlights the role Black Americans have played in the economy, and explores the resilience, resistance, and endurance that have challenged the United States to truly reflect the tenants of its Declaration of Independence.
Stephen Towns was born in 1980 in Lincolnville, South Carolina and lives and works in Baltimore. He trained as a painter with a BFA in studio art from the University of South Carolina, and has also developed a rigorous, self-taught quilting practice. In 2018, The Baltimore Museum of Art presented his first museum exhibition, Stephen Towns: Rumination and a Reckoning.
Declaration and Resistance is organized by guest curator Kilolo Luckett, founder of By Any Means, an art series engaging directly with leading artists, curators, writers and cultural consumers to broaden the scope and understating of contemporary art influence by black culture.
Image: Stephen Towns The Gift of Lineage #6, 2018 acrylic, Bristol board, metal leaf, natural and synthetic fabric, polyester and cotton thread on wood panel 36 x 24 inches 91.4 x 61 cm. Image courtesy of the artist and De Buck Gallery.