FALL EXHIBITIONS: Daniel Duford, John Brown’s Vision from the Scaffold, Part 2
Due to COVID-19, there will be no opening reception.
Modified hours: Tuesday & Wednesday, 10 am – 4 pm • Thursday, 10 am – 7 pm
On December 2, 1859, radical abolitionist John Brown stood on a scaffold in Virginia, awaiting the drop of the gallows floor. A month and a half earlier, with the aim of instigating an insurrection that would forever eradicate the Slave Power, he had taken over the federal armory in Harpers Ferry along with a mixed-race group of radical abolitionists. For this he had been sentenced to hang. Brown stood for a full ten minutes with the hood over his head and the noose around his neck. He waited patiently as the military gathered in formation to witness his execution. He had already issued this final statement: “I, John Brown, am now quite certain that the crimes of this guilty land will never be purged away but with blood.” The work in this show grows out of those ten minutes, their possibility and potential. It reaches from the deep past into the present.
Folklore and myth seep into this telling. Stories are alive; they are promiscuous. They slip the borders. John Brown’s Vision on the Scaffold is steeped in American history and storytelling. Included in this exhibition are portraits of Black artists and writers who meditated on John Brown as a symbol such as Jacob Lawrence and Robert Hayden. The landscape is a necessary character in the work, and the long arc of tree time is essential to the narrative. Trees are the most patient of witnesses. Their slow perception connects stories and communities across centuries.
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Daniel Duford, Artist:
He is a 2019 John Simon Guggenheim Fellow, a 2010 Hallie Ford Fellow and a recipient of a 2012 Art Matters Grant. His murals and public art can be found throughout Portland, OR. His work has been shown at MASS MoCA, The Atlanta Center for Contemporary Art, Maryhill Museum, Bellevue Arts Museum, Clay Studio, The Boise Art Museum, Museum of Contemporary Craft, PICA and The Art Gym at Marylhurst University. Residencies include The MacDowell Colony, Crow’s Shadow Art Center and Ash Street Project. His work has been reviewed by The New York Times, The Village Voice, New York Press, The Albany Times Union, The Oregonian, Sculpture Magazine, Art Papers, Artweek, The Willamette Week and the Portland Mercury. He is cofounder of Ground Beneath Us a place based institute and artist fellowship in Waterford, Virginia. Published graphic novels include John Brown’s Body, The Unfortunates Graphic Novel, The Naked Boy and The Green Man of Portland. His crotical writing has appeared in High Desert Journal, Parabola, Artweek, ARTnews, The Emily Dickinson Award Anthology, The Organ, The Bear Deluxe, Ceramics Monthly, Ceramics: Technical and Ceramics: Art and Perception.