Civil/Uncivil: The Art of Leo Twiggs
April 8-May 8, 2011, City Gallery in Charleston curated by if ART Gallery
Batik on cotton
15 x 8 in.
Civil/Uncivil: The Art of Leo Twiggs, located on the upper level of the City Gallery, features works by Orangeburg, S.C., native Dr. Leo Twiggs, and documents the path from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement. The works represent aspects of the South’s legacy as it relates to these events and how they have had an impact on Southern society, both in a historical sense and as it relates today.
Dr. Leo Twiggs is widely seen as the country’s main pioneer of batik as a modern art form. As one of the most noteworthy South Carolina artists since the 1960s, Twiggs’ art is about subjects, topics, issues and people close to his Southern upbringing. But through familiar specifics, Twiggs addresses broader themes, including race, black culture, politics and relationships between generations. He does so through modern imagery and narrative scenes that seldom are straightforward snapshots but abstracted, symbolic tableaus dominated by shapes, lines and fields of color.
By the 1970s, Twiggs’ national reputation resulted in a several solo shows in the Northeast, including at New York’s Studio Museum in Harlem. He also has been in group shows featuring the country’s most famous African-American artists, including Jacob Lawrence and Romare Bearden. His career retrospective, organized by the Georgia Museum of Art, traveled to several venues, including the South Carolina State Museum from 2004 to 2006. Twiggs’ work is in prominent South Carolina museums, including the Greenville County Museum of Art. He was the first person to receive as an individual South Carolina’s highest art award, the Elizabeth O’Neil Verner Governor’s Award for the Arts. Civil/Uncivil: The Art of Leo Twiggs focuses primarily on the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement and is curated by Wim Roefs of if ART Gallery in Columbia, S.C.