Della Wells

America's Nightmares, 1997
Pastel on paper, signed
22.50 x 30.25 in
SKU: 10146g
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Exhibited: "The History of Wisconsin Art: A Creative Place", Cedarburg Art Museum, 22 January –8 May 2022. Published: Lidke, Thomas and Annemarie Sawkins. 'A Creative Place: The History of Wisconsin Art'. Cedarburg Art Museum, Cedarburg, WI, 2022. p. , illus. From the exhibition: "Artist Della Wells sold her first work of art at age thirteen, although she only embarked on a full-fledged artistic career many years later. At the age of forty-two, Wells heard a voice telling her to "go create art." A self-described visual storyteller, Wells draws from a wide range of sources to create drawings, mixed-media collages, quilts, and dolls that embody themes of race, gender, and empowerment. Wells' pastels and collages depict famous Black women, and women who have been important in the artist's life. They are layered – like quilts – and filled with color and texture. The emotional and psychic impact of the pervasive negative images of Black people is portrayed. 'America's Nightmares' of 1997 directly addresses these stereotypes and assumptions about Black women in America. It explicitly represents the "mammy", the welfare queen, and the sex-hungry vixen that confront these unrealistic, denigrating, and damaging views of African American women."
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