Strive, 2000

Whitfield Lovell (American, born 1959)

Whitfield Lovell, Strive, 2000, charcoal on wood and found objects, 89 x 55 x 14 1/2in. Schwartz Art Collection, Harvard Business School, 2001.12. © Whitfield Lovell.

Whitfield Lovell draws from his personal archive of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century studio photographs of African Americans as the sources for these monumental charcoal renderings done on painted wood. Lovell then adds found objects, such as the sets of boxing gloves seen here, to the surface of the work, creating a three-dimensional object that brings the past into the present. As Lovell has stated: "I want to evoke the sense of place, able to feel the spirit of the past for a moment, to feel the presence of these people. I want it to be a kind of ancestor worship. I want beliefs to be handed down."