June Edmonds

Source Credit:  Content and images from Wall Street International Magazine by Wall Street International.  Read the original article - https://wsimag.com/art/67043-june-edmonds

Luis De Jesus Los Angeles is very pleased to announce June Edmonds: Joy of Other Suns, the
artist’s second solo exhibition with the gallery. The exhibition will be on view from September 18 through
October 30, 2021, with an opening reception to be held on Saturday, September 18th from 3:00 pm to
6:00 pm. Appointments are optional and may be made at luisdejesus.com/contact.

Concurrently, Edmonds will be the subject of a 40-year survey exhibition titled June Edmonds: Full
Spectrum, opening September 25th at Laband Art Gallery, Loyola Marymount University, in Los Angeles.
The exhibition has been organized by Laband Gallery Director and Chief Curator Karen Rapp.

June Edmond’s latest body of work continues her exploration of race and history, using social abstraction
as a means to navigate these complex issues. In her paintings, Edmonds commemorates the historical
contributions of African American female pioneers and early landowners in Southern California. She is
particularly drawn to the stories of Bridget “Biddy” Mason (1818-1891), former slave turned Los Angeles
land owner, entrepreneur and philanthropist; María Rita Quintero Valdés de Villa (1791-1854), an AfricanMexican and granddaughter of Luis Quintero, one of the original settlers of Rancho Rodeo de las Aguas
(Ranch of the Gathering Waters)—known today as Beverly Hills; and Henrietta VanHorn-Debose (1855-
1931), the first Black woman and early property owner to settle in La Jolla. Edmonds expands on these
histories, considering the implications of the Great Migration in the 20th Century and how it fundamentally
changed the United States.

In many of the works on view, Edmonds has departed from the layered impasto texture that has
dominated her “energy circle” and flag paintings and employed a flatter application of paint. With this new
development, she moves into a wider conversation about painting and geometric abstraction, with an
emphasis on sharply defined edges, overlapping forms, clear composition, hard lines, minimal texture,
and vibrant, pure color. The prominent leaf shapes in these paintings embody feminine energy and birth,
while the sinuous curves allude to the geography and streets where these women lived, drawing parallels
to the discriminatory practice of redlining and the racially restrictive covenants that created housing
inequality in American cities. Edmonds points to the paradox of these trailblazing Black women once
owning the very land of some of the most exclusive neighborhoods in the United States.

Throughout her career, Edmonds has been revisiting and redefining traditional Western color theory,
exploring how profoundly color relates to emotion and trauma, and are thus able to express visual cues
about power and systemic disenfranchisement. Edmonds has amplified these concepts in her public art,
having recently completed a mural in La Jolla (Ebony on Draper and Girard) to honor the legacy of Black
pioneers. By incorporating the forgotten narratives of Black Americans into her canvases and public art,
the artist not only gives prominence to their stories, but encourages a dialogue about race, nationality,
gender, and politics and the complex overlap of these identities.

The title of this exhibition, Joy of Other Suns, was inspired by Isabel Wilkerson’s The Warmth of Other
Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration, a historical study of the mass exodus of Black
Americans from the South. This in turn was drawn from a poem by American author Richard Wright,
reflecting on his own experience migrating from the South to Chicago in the 1920s:

I was leaving the South
To fling myself into the unknown…
I was taking a part of the South
To transplant in alien soil,
To see if it could grow differently,
If it could drink of new and cool rains,
Bend in strange winds,
Respond to the warmth of other suns
And, perhaps, to bloom.

(Richard Wright)

In addition to her 40-year survey exhibition at Loyola Marymount University, Edmonds will be the subject of
forthcoming solo exhibitions at Riverside Art Museum, Riverside, CA and University Art Gallery, California
State Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo, CA. She is the recipient of the inaugural 2020 Aware
Prize, presented at The Armory Show by the French non-profit Archive of Women Artists Research and
Exhibitions; a 2018 City of Los Angeles Individual Artist Grant (COLA) and Exhibition at the Los Angeles
Municipal Art Gallery; a California Arts Council Individual Artist Grant; Paducah Artist Residency in
Kentucky; Helene Wurlitzer Foundation artist residency in Taos, NM; and Dorland Mountain Community artist
residency in Temecula, CA. Edmonds has exhibited at the California African American Museum, Davis
Museum of Art, the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Luckman Fine Art Gallery at California State University
Los Angeles, Watts Tower Art Center in Los Angeles, CA, Angels Gate Art Center in San Pedro, CA; and the
Manhattan Beach Art Center in Manhattan Beach, CA.

Edmonds has completed several works of public art, most recently with Murals of La Jolla, with the city of Los Angeles and the Department of Cultural Affairs, including an installation at the MTA Pacific Station in Long
Beach, CA. Her paintings are held in collections throughout the United States including the California African
American Museum, Los Angeles, CA; Mead Art Museum, Amhurst College, Amhurst, MA; Davis Museum,
Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA; David Owsley Museum of Art at Ball State University, Muncie, IN; The
Pizzuti Collection, Columbus, OH; as well as Rodney M. Miller Collection, New York, NY; Michael Rubel
Collection, Los Angeles, CA: David Rogath Collection, Greenwich, CT; Gail and George L. Knox Collection,
La Jolla, CA; and Kelly Williams and Andrew Forsyth Collection, Palm Beach, FL, among others.

Source Credit:  Content and images from Wall Street International Magazine by Wall Street International.  Read the original article - https://wsimag.com/art/67043-june-edmonds