District News

John Dunkley & Paa Joe: New Exhibits Coming to Folk Art

Oct 3, 2018

Exploring evocative themes of colonialism and the Americas, the end of October brings two new, concurrent exhibitions to the American Folk Art Museum here in Lincoln Square. Opening Tuesday, October 30, John Dunkley: Neither Day nor Night and Paa Joe: Gates of No Return will run through February 29, 2019 and are both sensitive and poignant reminders of a difficult past and history in America, Jamaica, and Ghana. 

John Dunkley is widely considered to be one of Jamaica's most important artists. This first exhibition of his oeuvre outside of his native country is composed of forty-five works, including his paintings from the 1930s and 1940s and rare carved wood and stone figurative sculptures. This collection is psychologically suggestive and elicits iconography related to Jamaica's history. Accra-based artist and craftsman Paa Joe's exhibit presents a unique series of large-scale painted wood sculptures that physically model castles and forts that served as way stations for more than six million Africans sold into slavery and sent to the Americas and the Caribbean. These pieces allude to Paa Joe's well known coffin sculptures, speaking to spirits separated from bodies in trauma. 

The American Folk Art Museum is located at 2 Lincoln Square on Columbus Ave, between 65th and 66th Streets. Admission to the museum is free. 

Photo credit: Paa Joe & Mariela Pascual