January 8, 2021

“Raggin’ On: The Art of Aminah Robinson” at Columbus Museum of Art @ Hyperallergic

COLUMBUS, OH — The Yoruba philosophy of ase or ashe (fromàṣẹ) speaks to a way of life with specific spiritual and social constructs, but also has a particular influence on Yoruba artmaking. Aside from the precise rituals associated with deities, there is a general notion of piece-work — countless individual parts, each given the same hierarchical importance, repeated and combined to form greater wholes. Though Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson was from Columbus, Ohio, and spent the balance of her prodigious seven-decade art career there, a conscious connection to the lineage of West African art-making and African-American history seems to emanate from every surface of Raggin’ On: The Art of Aminah Robinson’s House and Journals. The retrospective of her work at the Columbus Museum of Art is based on the 2015 bequeathal of the majority of her estate (including one dog, who was re-homed) to the museum, and reconstructs not only the history and finished works of this hometown hero and 2004 MacArthur Genius Grant recipient, but presents her art as it surrounded her in life.

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