In the galleries: Multiple works by Black artists create a vision of authority

The Washington Post

When the artists studio Stable opened two years ago, much attention was paid to the building’s picturesque original function: sheltering horses who pulled wagons for Nabisco. Less noticed was that the structure had been similarly repurposed before, serving from 1985 to 1998 as a workspace for African American artists. In homage to that recent history, Stable and the Black Artists of D.C. have organized “Shoulder the Deed,” a show of 19 artists of color, most of them local and active.


Contemporary and historical also mingle in the work of Stan Squirewell, a D.C. native who is based in Louisville, but lately has been in residence at the Nicholson Project in Southeast Washington. His “Monk Hancock (Innocent Criminal Series)” is a photograph of a contemporary Black man overlaid with images of parts of sculptures that appear millennias old. History is more complicated than the simplest accounts of it, Squirewell suggests.

Two large photo-collages in a similar style are featured in “Guest Artist: Stan Squirewell,” a one-room show at the Kreeger Museum. In the manner of the Phillips Collection’s “Intersections” series, the idea is for Squirewell to juxtapose his pieces with Kreeger-owned pieces by other artists, including a painted-wood Sam Gilliam sculpture and an abstract Simmie Knox painting in oxidized-metal hues. The textures and tones of those pieces complement the photo-collages’ frames, made from shou sugi ban (Japanese-style charred cedar).

September 17, 2021