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Daily Art Moment: Robert Pruitt

“I look forward to sharing Robert Pruitt’s drawing ‘Meteorite’ with our audiences this fall in an installation of contemporary artworks that are new to the collection. This multimedia piece pairs a large-scale drawing with an old-fashioned walkie-talkie sitting on a pedestal. Pruitt brings the drawing’s fictional world into our real-time and space: the actual radio plays back the woman’s voice, animating her interior world. Her words mix traditional gospel lyrics with phrases from James Baldwin and Ray Bradbury’s writings, Nikki Giovanni’s poetry, and the music of Sun Ra. Pruitt looks to Afrofuturism and fictional worlds created by Black artists to illuminate histories, myths, and present-day narratives.

He describes the recent body of work that includes this piece: ‘The idea of a nascent majestic inheritance is at the root of this series of drawings. They are attempts to reposition systems of belief and mythos around a Black American identity. Meteorite seeks to suggest a concept of a mythology of Black celestial sovereignty.

Sara Krajewski, The Robert and Mercedes Eichholz Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art

Robert Pruitt (American, born 1975). Meteorite, 2019. Conté and charcoal on dyed paper, rendered walkie-talkie with audio component. Museum Purchase with funds provided by Amjad and Helen Bangash, 2019.47.1a-e