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Arts & Culture

Radcliffe Bailey searches for life beyond the Middle Passage

Photo: Courtesy photo, License: N/A

Courtesy photo

Radcliffe Bailey, Windward Coast, 2012


The blues are memories of Africa that, like the dikenga, were unseen passengers crossing the waters on the slave ships. Bailey underscores the importance of music as memory by using sheet music as a substrate, or foundation, in many of his pieces, such as the series of small collages, Notes from Elmina.

Painted in crisp strokes of gouache are lines of waves or plant forms. Centered in the composition are photographs of African carved figures. Peaking from underneath, black notes dot the lined paper. Covered by the waves and growths of history, the score is hard to read, but that's OK. Bailey has told us time and time again that the real songs are in the blood, flow through water, and never die. His works make us smile because we know it's true. •

Radcliffe Bailey: Memory as Medicine

$5-$8
Free 5-9pm Thu
12-5pm Sun
10am-4pm Tue, Wed, Fri
10am-9pm Thur
10am-5pm Sat
McNay Art Museum
6000 N New Braunfels
(210) 824-5368
mcnayart.org
On view to September 2
Special Event
6:30pm Thu July 5
gallery talk by René Paul Barilleaux,
Chief Curator/Curator of Art after 1945

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