Modern Ancient Brown/screened, 2021, McArthur Binion


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Painting, ’73

4 color hand-pulled serigraph print on Cougar White 160# cover, with 3 color spot overprint. Straight cut, numbered and signed by the artist.

24h x 30w inches
Edition of 30

Edition of 30

McArthur Binion (b. 1946, Macon, MS; lives and works in Chicago, IL) combines collage, drawing, and painting to create autobiographical abstractions of painted minimalist patterns over an “under surface” of personal documents and photographs. From photocopies of his birth certificate and pages from his address book to pictures from his childhood and found photographs of lynchings, the poignant and charged images that constitute the tiled base of his work are concealed and abstracted by grids of oil stick. The complexly layered works, from a distance, appear to be monochromatic minimalist abstractions. Binion’s works are intensely personal and deeply dedicated to the rigorous process of making a painting. Upon closer inspection, these monochromatic abstractions come into focus: the perfect grid becomes a series of imperfect laboriously hand-drawn lines, behind which emerge intimate details of Binion’s identity and personal history. Binion’s gridded compositions impose rational order to the layers of personal history, allowing only fragments of information from his birth certificate to be read, or details of his mother’s face to be identified—but never enough to be immediately legible.