Pioneering artist, activist, educator and author Faith Ringgold is in conversation with Hans Ulrich Obrist, Artistic Director, Serpentine Galleries, on the opening day of her first solo exhibition in a European public institution. For more than five decades, Ringgold has consistently challenged perceptions of African American identity and gender inequality through the lenses of the feminist and the civil rights movements. As cultural assumptions and prejudices persist, her work retains its contemporary resonance.
Faith Ringgold (b. 1930, Harlem, New York) is an artist, teacher, lecturer and author of numerous award-winning children’s books. Ringgold received her BS and MA degrees in visual art from City College of New York in 1955 and 1959. Professor Emeritus of Art at the University of California in San Diego, Ringgold has received 23 Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degrees. She is the recipient of more than 80 awards and honours including the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship; The American Academy of Arts and Letters Award and recently the Medal of Honour for Fine Arts from the National Arts Club. In 2017, Ringgold was elected as a member into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in Boston.
Ringgold’s work has been shown internationally, most recently in the group exhibition Soul of A Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power, Tate Modern, London (2017), Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville (2018), Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn and The Broad, Los Angeles (2019); We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965 – 85, Brooklyn Museum (2017), Post-Picasso Contemporary Reactions, Museu Picasso, Barcelona, Spain (2014) and American People, Black Light: Faith Ringgold’s Paintings of the 1960’s, the Neuberger Museum,Purchase, New York (2011) and National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington (2013).
Ringgold’s work is in the permanent collections of numerous museums in the United States including; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, The Brooklyn Museum and The Studio Museum in Harlem, all in New York; The National Museum of American Art, Washington, DC; The Art Institute of Chicago and The Boston Museum of Fine Art.