cartoonish elderly figure seated in chair at LLC facing R; grainy background with woodgrain texture in gray scale, with overlapping transparent peach and blue shapes; lavender background at L; text reads: You say / This is the worst / thing / ever / ever.

%C2%A9 Nell Painter

You Say This Can't Really Be America (A), 2017

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You Say this Can’t Really be America takes a step back to view from a slight distance the political fray engendered by the race-charged politics of the last presidential election cycle. Nell Painter offers perspective to American liberals and moderates bemoaning the statements and actions of the political right. The drumbeat recitation of her text-based conceptual art challenges the idea that America has had “better times” with regard to racism and discrimination. Nell Painter is a renowned historian of the American South and Professor Emerita at Princeton University. Late in her teaching career, she returned to school to earn degrees in studio art. She might be seen as the wise figure who conducts the discourse in this suite of images.

Details
Title
You Say This Can't Really Be America (A)
Artist Life
born 1942
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2018.30.1
Provenance
Brodsky Center, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. New Brunswick, N.J. (publisher); sold to MIA, 2018.
Curator Approved

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cartoonish elderly figure seated in chair at LLC facing R; grainy background with woodgrain texture in gray scale, with overlapping transparent peach and blue shapes; lavender background at L; text reads: You say / This is the worst / thing / ever / ever.

© Nell Painter

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