This catalogue features full-color illustrations of works and exhibitions by the artist.
Alfred Conteh (b. 1975, USA) is a leader on the vanguard of American portraiture. He uses his studio practice to explore his identity and personal history from a number of different perspectives. Born in Fort Valley, GA, and based in Atlanta, Conteh’s work concerns the ways African Americans are dealing with disparities that have been affecting their communities for generations, especially in the Southern United States.
Conteh’s paintings utilize materiality to elucidate the ways in which America subjugates its Black citizens by neglecting the infrastructure of Black neighborhoods and systematically denying Black citizens access to all the rights and privileges afforded to the majoritarian culture. This publication features works from Conteh’s long-running series of figurative paintings, titled Two Fronts; the subjects of these portraits are the Black people Conteh meets and interacts with around the city of Atlanta. With surfaces that appear weathered, rusted, and degraded, the paintings have a material presence that reflects the lives of the figures in them—contemporary members of the African Diaspora who, Conteh points out, do not have access to the full vision of American-ness.
Also featured in the publication is a selection of Conteh’s landscape paintings, portraying everyday urban and suburban environments inhabited by larger-than-life Black figures whose flesh has taken on the appearance of certain aspects of their environment, such as rusted metal and overgrown vines.
Recent major exhibitions of Conteh’s work include Alfred Conteh: It Is What It Is, Kavi Gupta | Washington Blvd.; Alfred Conteh: The Sweet Spot, Clark Atlanta University Art Museum, Atlanta, GA; Men of Change: Power. Triumph. Truth., Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service; and Alfred Conteh, Selected Works. Conteh’s work is included in several major collections, including that of the Legacy Museum, Montgomery, AL; Lauren Rogers Museum of Art, Laurel, MS; Clark Atlanta University Art Museum, Atlanta, GA; among several others.
Published by Kavi Gupta, 2023, softcover, 96 pages, 7 x 5 inches.