Prints and Drawings
Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
Full-size image not available for download. Please contact Rights and Reproductions.
Artist: Richard J. Powell, American, born 1953, M.A. 1982, M.Phil 1984, Ph.D. 1988



Etching and aquatint

sheet: 75.2 × 105.8 cm (29 5/8 × 41 5/8 in.)
framed: 93.7 × 124.1 × 5.1 cm (36 7/8 × 48 7/8 × 2 in.)
Gift of Teresa Grana
In this print, artist and art historian Richard J. Powell brings artistic modernism and celebrity culture together in a reconfiguration of traditional portraiture. The two profiles evoke the art forms of the early twentieth century, drawing on the modernists’ fascination with African art, particularly Fang reliquary heads and masks from the Baule, Guro, and Dan peoples. In the angular severity of the figure’s upright, closely cropped hair, the unmistakable image of Grace Jones—American model, singer, and celebrity—emerges. Through this convergence, Powell choreographs a dynamic mode of signification that simultaneously questions and celebrates the visual histories that shape African American cultural expression and its relationship to the discipline of art history.
Made in United States
Not on view
20th century
Works on Paper - Prints

Pamela Franks and Robert E. Steele, Embodied: Black Identities in American Art from the Yale University Art Gallery, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2010), 64, ill.

“Acquisitions,” (accessed 2012).

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.