American Folk Art Museum Logo

John Dunkley: Neither Day nor Night

October 30, 2018–February 24, 2019
Exhibition
At the American Folk Art Museum
Lincoln Square, Manhattan

John Dunkley (1891–1947) is widely considered to be one of Jamaica’s most important artists. This first exhibition of his oeuvre outside of his native country creates an international context for its appreciation. Composed of forty-five works, it includes his paintings from the 1930s and 1940s, which are primarily landscapes defined by their distinctive dark palette and psychologically suggestive underpinnings, alongside rare carved wood and stone figurative sculptures. Dunkley was working at a pivotal time in Jamaica’s history, contributing to the formation of an independent nation. His life and work provide insight into the broader economic and social factors, as well as the popular culture, that defined this era in Jamaica and the Caribbean.

John Dunkley: Neither Day nor Night is organized by Pérez Art Museum Miami and sponsored by Davidoff Art Initiative. It is curated by Diana Nawi with Nicole Smythe-Johnson; Dr. David Boxer served as curatorial advisor; Valérie Rousseau, curator, Self-Taught Art and Art Brut, American Folk Art Museum, is the coordinating curator. A 224-page illustrated catalog (English and Spanish) is available.

Images: John Dunkley (Jamaica, 1891–1947), Back to Nature, c. 1939, mixed media on plywood, 16 9/16 x 28 3/8 in., National Gallery of Jamaica, Kingston. Photo by Mariela Pascual.

John Dunkley (Jamaica, 1891–1947), Acrobat, Jamaica, n.d., mahogany, 8 x 6 x 2 in., collection of Kenneth J. Dunkley. Photo by Mariela Pascual.

John Dunkley (Jamaica, 1891–1947), Three Spanish Jars, n.d., mixed media on canvas, 18 1/8 x 29 5/16 in., private collection. Photo by Randall Richards.

John Dunkley (Jamaica, 1891–1947), Feeding the Fishes, c. 1940, mixed media on plywood, 16 3/4 x 20 1/8 in., private collection. Photo by Randall Richards.

John Dunkley (Jamaica, 1891–1947), Spider’s Web, n.d., mixed media on canvas, 17 1/8 x 28 3/4 in., collection of Ernest, Kenneth J., and Tina Dunkley. Photo by Mariela Pascual.

 

Exhibition-Related Programs

Dialogue + Studio: Block Printing Textile Workshop – December 4, 2018
Critical Walk-Through: Nari Ward – January 10, 2019
Post-Colonial Visions and John Dunkley – February 7, 2019

Credits

This exhibition is supported in part by the David Davies and Jack Weeden Fund for Exhibitions, the Ford Foundation, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.