Now on view at Brooklyn Historical Society (BHS) is “She said, She said: Art and inspiration in the work of Nell Painter and Lucille Fornasieri Gold,” an exhibit that pays homage to two different but equally dynamic women sharing their view of New York through their work.
The exhibition juxtaposes two separate but related bodies of artwork — 45 photographs of Brooklyn in the 1970s and ’80s taken by legendary street photographer Lucille Fornasieri Gold, and the seven paintings they inspired by artist and historian Nell Irvin Painter. The exhibition is on view in BHS’s recently renovated Brooklyn Community Foundation Gallery through February 2015.
Lucille Fornasieri Gold documented everyday life in her multi-racial, multi-ethnic Brooklyn neighborhood. Many decades later, these works were discovered by Nell Painter at Brooklyn Historical Society, which acquired them as part of its expanding photography collection in 2008.
Painter, formerly a Princeton University, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and author of “The History of White People,” used digitally manipulated fragments of Fornasieri Gold’s photographs and painted them into a new visual fiction.
Most recently, Fornasieri Gold’s work has been recognized through Brooklyn Industries releasing a line of T-shirts that highlight her photography. The introduction to the exhibition was written by Sarah Lewis, a noted author, curator and historian who served on President Obama’s Arts Policy Committee. She recently released her first book, “The Rise: Creativity, the Gift of Failure, and the Search for Mastery.”
“We are thrilled to be presenting this fantastic collection of work by two people who approach art-making in completely different ways, and whose works are informed by dramatically different sensibilities,” said Deborah Schwartz, president of Brooklyn Historical Society.
“It is marvelous to see how the juxtaposition of these two helps us to see each artist. From Ms. Painter’s transformation from a Pulitzer Prize-winning Princeton historian to a professional artist, to Ms. Gold’s groundbreaking black and white photographs that show a moment in New York City history, this exhibition highlights the power of inspiration and perspective that spans across decades. We are also honored to have had renowned scholar and historian, Sarah Lewis, provide the introduction to this rich and insightful exhibition.”