A solo exhibition of my cotton work will open in September at the African American Museum in Philadelphia.
Getting Ready, Archival Inkjet Print on Photo Rag Paper, 2017
Cotton: The Soft Dangerous Beauty of the Past
Photographs by John Dowell
Opening: Friday, September 14, 2018
ON VIEW: September 15 – January 22, 2018
African American Museum in Philadelphia
701 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
The 35 large-scale photographs, installation and altarpiece featured in Cotton: The Soft Dangerous Beauty of the Past explore the dichotomy between the beauty of the plant, and its inexorable link to the horrors of chattel slavery in the U.S. The exhibition also evokes the often overlooked history of slavery in the North, specifically in New York City. Dowell meticulously documents cotton as a symbol to channel ideas, dreams and fantasies—and as a portal to communicate with ancestors and with the viewer.
John E. Dowell is a Philadelphia based, nationally recognized artist, master-printer and photographer. A professor Emeritus of Tyler School of Art at Temple University, for more than four decades, Dowell’s fine art prints, paintings and photographs have been featured in more than 50 one-person exhibitions and represented in the permanent collections of 70 museums and public collections, including the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, France.