CAAM Has Another Winning Season
|Nina Chanel Abney, Untitled (FUCK T*E *OP), 2014|
The hype aside, "Royal Flush" is a winner. Abney mints disconcertingly trenchant art out of the retinal flash of Stuart Davis, Paul Rand, surrealism, and animation.
|Nina Chanel Abney, Forbidden Fruit, 2009|
|Robert Pruitt, A Brother I Have Had on Earth, 2017|
No less engaging is "Robert Pruitt: Devotion," the city's first major show of the Houston-born New York artist. It's timely because of Pruitt's affinity to Charles White, now being celebrated in a big-museum show that comes to LACMA next year. (Maybe the ideal is for an artist to get a first museum retrospective later than Nina Chanel Abney but sooner than Charles White.)
Pruitt's A Brother I Have Had on Earth (2017) is directly inspired by Charles White's 1965 drawing Two Brothers I Have Had on Earth—One of Spirit, One of Sod. Like White, Pruitt favors large finished drawings, in this case in conté crayon, pastel, charcoal, and coffee on paper.
|Robert Pruitt, Archangel, 2017|
A number of works strike an Afrofuturist note. Archangel (2015) depicts a drone, bristling with cameras and carrying flowers, money, Kool cigarettes, and a t-shirt saying I CAN'T BREATHE—the last words of Eric Garner (2014) and Jamal Khashoggi (2018).
|Robert Pruitt, Thinking Cap, 2008|
Pruitt also does elegantly conceptual objects such as a pair bringing magical light to ordinary caps.
|Robert Pruitt, Dome, 2008|
|Herbert Singleton, Old Religion, 2003|