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Introduction

Radcliffe Bailey is a nationally-recognized painter, sculptor, and mixed-media artist who layers imagery, culturally resonant materials, and text to explore themes of ancestry, race, and memory. The Great Dismal Swamp is the artist’s first solo exhibition in the DC metro area, although he has previously participated in group exhibitions at the Smithsonian, the Corcoran, and the David C. Driskell Center at the University of Maryland.

Bailey produces a wide range of mixed-media works including two-dimensional collaged paintings, sculptures, and installations. His work is often made from found materials and personal objects from his past, including traditional African sculpture, tintypes of his family members, piano keys, and symbolic items including keys and pouches. For his exhibition, Bailey addresses his family’s history in Virginia, and the history of the Underground Railroad in the state’s Great Dismal Swamp. Bailey's work in included in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Washington, D.C.; the Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas; the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri; the Denver Art Museum, Colorado; and the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia among many others.

The Great Dismal Swamp is funded in part by ArtsFairfax, Reston Community Center, and Reston Town Center Association.

All images courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery.

Selected Works

Selected Works Thumbnails
Travel by Night, 2007

Travel by Night, 2007
Glass, steel, candelabra and photo emulsion
60 x 36 x 48 inches

Windward Coast - West Coast Slave Trade, 2009–2011

Windward Coast - West Coast Slave Trade, 2009–2011
Piano keys, plaster bust and glitter
Dimensions vary

Creole, 2013 Steel

Creole, 2013
Steel
70 x 61 x 20 inches

Clotilde, 2014 Mixed media

Clotilde, 2014
Mixed media
76 1/4 x 76 1/4 inches (canvas)
80 1/16 x 80 3/16 x 4 inches (framed)

Clotilde II, 2014

Clotilde II, 2014
Mixed media
76 1/4 x 76 1/4 inches (canvas)
80 1/16 x 80 3/16 x 4 inches (framed)

67/68, 2016 Wood cabinet including various objects

67/68, 2016
Wood cabinet including various objects
82 1/2 x 42 x 31 1/2 inches

Madagascar 1, 2016

Madagascar 1, 2016
Mixed media including collage elements, paint, glass on panel
60 x 60 x 5 3/8 inches

Low-Lying, 2016 Mixed media including collage elements, paint, glass on panel

Low-Lying, 2016
Mixed media including collage elements, paint, glass on panel
60 x 60 x 5 3/8 inches

Conductor, 2016 Mixed media including collage elements, paint, glass on panel

Conductor, 2016
Mixed media including collage elements, paint, glass on panel
60 x 60 x 5 3/8 inches

Blue Black, 2016

Blue Black, 2016
Glass, ink
10 1/4 x 5 1/4 x 4 1/2 inches (glass heart)
69 x 79 x 4 1/2 inches (overall dimensions)

Blue Black (detail), 2016

Blue Black (detail), 2016
Glass, ink
10 1/4 x 5 1/4 x 4 1/2 inches (glass heart)
69 x 79 x 4 1/2 inches (overall dimensions)

Untitled, 2010 Glitter, felt, feather, wood

Untitled, 2010
Glitter, felt, feather, wood
35 x 11 x 11 inches (pedestal)
14 x 14 x 5 1/2 inches (head with hat)

Untitled (detail), 2010

Untitled (detail), 2010
Glitter, felt, feather, wood
35 x 11 x 11 inches (pedestal)
14 x 14 x 5 1/2 inches (head with hat)

Travel by Night, 2007

Travel by Night, 2007
Glass, steel, candelabra and photo emulsion
60 x 36 x 48 inches

Windward Coast - West Coast Slave Trade, 2009–2011

Windward Coast - West Coast Slave Trade, 2009–2011
Piano keys, plaster bust and glitter
Dimensions vary

Creole, 2013 Steel

Creole, 2013
Steel
70 x 61 x 20 inches

Clotilde, 2014 Mixed media

Clotilde, 2014
Mixed media
76 1/4 x 76 1/4 inches (canvas)
80 1/16 x 80 3/16 x 4 inches (framed)

Clotilde II, 2014

Clotilde II, 2014
Mixed media
76 1/4 x 76 1/4 inches (canvas)
80 1/16 x 80 3/16 x 4 inches (framed)

67/68, 2016 Wood cabinet including various objects

67/68, 2016
Wood cabinet including various objects
82 1/2 x 42 x 31 1/2 inches

Madagascar 1, 2016

Madagascar 1, 2016
Mixed media including collage elements, paint, glass on panel
60 x 60 x 5 3/8 inches

Low-Lying, 2016 Mixed media including collage elements, paint, glass on panel

Low-Lying, 2016
Mixed media including collage elements, paint, glass on panel
60 x 60 x 5 3/8 inches

Conductor, 2016 Mixed media including collage elements, paint, glass on panel

Conductor, 2016
Mixed media including collage elements, paint, glass on panel
60 x 60 x 5 3/8 inches

Blue Black, 2016

Blue Black, 2016
Glass, ink
10 1/4 x 5 1/4 x 4 1/2 inches (glass heart)
69 x 79 x 4 1/2 inches (overall dimensions)

Blue Black (detail), 2016

Blue Black (detail), 2016
Glass, ink
10 1/4 x 5 1/4 x 4 1/2 inches (glass heart)
69 x 79 x 4 1/2 inches (overall dimensions)

Untitled, 2010 Glitter, felt, feather, wood

Untitled, 2010
Glitter, felt, feather, wood
35 x 11 x 11 inches (pedestal)
14 x 14 x 5 1/2 inches (head with hat)

Untitled (detail), 2010

Untitled (detail), 2010
Glitter, felt, feather, wood
35 x 11 x 11 inches (pedestal)
14 x 14 x 5 1/2 inches (head with hat)

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