Bisa Butler: Portraits
November 16, 2020 - September 6, 2021
The Art Institute of Chicago:
111 S Michigan Ave,
Chicago, IL 60603

Bisa Butler originally studied painting at Howard University, but decided to shift to a textile-based practice to help add vibrancy and dimension that she thought were lacking in her paintings. She now uses textiles to create portrait quilts that vividly capture personal narratives of Black life, 20 of which will star in her first solo museum exhibition. Much like a painter might layer glazes, Butler uses threads from various fabrics to add details and textures that convey the complex individually of her photographic subjects while offering an expansive view into history through themes such as family, community, migration, and youth. 

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (2019) by Bisa Butler. Photography by Margaret Fox

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