Whitfield Lovell

Barbados, 2009

Whitfield Lovell (American, born 1959), Barbados, 2009, inkjet print on front and verso with hand-printed lithograph on stone, 44 x 19 1/2 in. Schwartz Art Collection, Harvard Business School, 2010.3. © Whitfield Lovell.

Born in the Bronx, New York, much of Whitfield Lovell’s work is inspired by his family history. His family on his father’s side was from Barbados. In 1985, after attending the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine, Lovell made a major shift in his practice, and began incorporating old family photographs as well as found photographs into his art. As he has described, “In Skowhegan I had time to really think about what I wanted to do with my work. I felt the formal issues about color were fighting with the narratives I was getting at...So I narrowed down the color, and began to work monochromatically. I had all of my father's old photographs mailed to me, and I began a process of looking through these images each day before starting to work. The work became more personal and a reflection of the way I saw myself as an artist.” In his print Barbados, the artist surrounds an image of a Black woman with vibrant floral forms and bright tropical colors as part of an exploration of his connections to the Caribbean island.