Joseph Norman, Conviction (Self Portrait), 1986, Lithograph, AP Overall: 30 1/4 in x 22 1/4 in; 37 1/2 x 29 3/4 on board Gift of Betsy Bessinger, 1990.002.001

The Newport Art Museum today announce da new exhibition, “Joseph Norman: Works from the Permanent Collection,” which will be on view to the public Saturday, October 15, 2022 through April 16, 2023. 

An Opening Reception celebrating the artist will be held Friday, October 14 from 5 – 7 pm, and will include a Gallery Conversation at 6 pm. The Gallery Conversation, which will consider issues and topics such as racial identity, portraiture, and history and place, as seen through Norman’s powerful and evocative works, will include the artist, Joseph Norman, in dialogue with the Museum’s Senior Curator Dr. Francine Weiss, painter Bob Dilworth, and Assistant Professor of Theory and History of Art and Design at RISD, Dr. Christopher Roberts.  

This exhibition and conversation with the artist support our Museum’s mission to share a diversity of voices in its galleries and to spark conversations inspired by art. This program is made possible through the generous support of the CHARLES A. AND LOIS H. MILLER FOUNDATION.

Joseph Norman was born in Chicago in 1957 as the fifth of six children to parents who were the grandchildren of slaves. After earning his M.A. at the University of Illinois and an M.F.A. at the University of Cincinnati in 1986, he moved to Rhode Island to launch his career. It was then that he began teaching and exhibiting at the Newport Art Museum. An important American artist whose career as a printmaker and painter spans over forty years, Joseph Norman is considered by many art historians to be the most important African American lithographer of his generation. Currently a Professor of Art at the Lamar Dodd School of Art at the University of Georgia, Norman began his career in the 1980s teaching and exhibiting at the Newport Art Museum. Over the years, the Museum has been fortunate to acquire 61 paintings and prints by Norman, making it the largest museum collection of the artist’s work.

This exhibition showcases a selection of Norman’s prints and paintings from the Museum’s permanent collection along with recent works on loan from the artist. These works include prints from the series “Wandering Muse,” “Tenements,” and “Out at Home: Negro Baseball League” among others. Throughout his career, Norman has tackled many subjects and issues, such as racial identity, portraiture, self-portraiture, history, and place. Blurring the boundaries between realism and abstraction, Norman makes powerful and evocative works of art predominantly in black and white. With their characteristically dense compositions of forms, Norman’s works are layered with metaphor and meaning. This exhibition includes three of Norman’s rarely seen large lithographic triptychs inspired by personal events, nature, and Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis. From his small detailed prints to large narrative works, Norman shows his mastery of printmaking, painting, and storytelling.

Norman is currently the Chairman of the Painting and Drawing Department at the Lamar Dodd school of Art and Founder of Study Abroad in Latin America, Cuba, Costa Rica, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands. A world class draftsman and printmaker, he has works of art in museum collections around the country, including the MoMA, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Smithsonian Institution, National Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.), Museum of Fine Arts Boston, and the RISD Museum among others.

The Newport Art Museum is located at 76 Bellevue Avenue, Newport, RI.
Visit newportartmuseum.org or call 401-848-8200 for details.

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