The George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center will host Austin-based artist, Deborah Roberts for a signing of her new monograph, Deborah Roberts: Twenty Years of Art/Work on Saturday, December 2 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at 1165 Angelina St. The event is sponsored by Art Galleries at Black Studies at The University of Texas at Austin (AGBS), Austin African American Book Festival, The George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center, Radius Books, and soulciti.
Published by Radius Books, the expansive monograph contains new texts that dive into Roberts’ archive and offers a comprehensive view of one of today’s most significant artists and social observers. An extensive plate section is accompanied by a personal, heartfelt foreword from Dawoud Bey on “the tragic mischaracterization of Black children”; an insightful essay from Ekow Eshun on the social and political histories of innocence, race, and the fractured nature of the contemporary Black experience; a celebratory tribute from Carolyn Jean Martin on the musicality, humility, and generosity of Roberts’ practice; and a free-ranging conversation between Roberts and Sarah Elizabeth Lewis.
By using images from American history, Black culture, Pop culture and Black history in her art, Roberts takes on a powerful social commentary, critiquing perceptions of ideal beauty, and challenging stereotypes and myths. Her process combines found and manipulated images with hand drawn and painted details to create hybrid figures. These figures often take the form of young girls and increasingly Black boys, whose wellbeing and futures are equally threatened because of the double standard of boyhood and criminality that is projected on them at such a young age. The boys and girls who populate her work, while subject to societal pressures and projected images, are still unfixed in their identity. Each child has character and agency to find their own way amidst the complicated narratives of American, African American and art history.
About Deborah Roberts
Deborah Roberts is a mixed media artist whose work challenges the notion of ideal beauty. Her work has been exhibited internationally across the USA and Europe. Roberts' work is in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; Brooklyn Museum, New York, NY; The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY; LACMA, Los Angeles, CA; Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA; Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY; and Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth, TX, among other institutions. She was selected to participate in the Robert Rauschenberg Residency (2019) and was a finalist for the 2019 Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition, as well as the recipient of the Anonymous Was A Woman Grant (2018), Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant (2016), and Texas Medal of Arts Award in Visual Arts (2023). Roberts received her MFA from Syracuse University, NY. She lives and works in Austin, TX. Roberts is represented by Stephen Friedman Gallery, London, UK, and Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, CA.