Delita Martin: Calling Down the Spirits
On view through April 19, 2020
National Museum of Women in the Arts
Washington, D.C.
www.nmwa.org
 
Delita Martin (b. 1972, Conroe, Texas) creates large-scale prints onto which she draws, sews, collages, and paints. Martin claims space for her subjects, particularly black women, creating a powerful presence that simultaneously highlights the historical absence of black bodies in Western art.
 
Through her work, Martin aims to create a new iconography for African Americans based on African tradition, personal recollections, and physical materials. A recurring theme throughout Martin’s work is exploring interconnections between past and present generations. She conveys these connections through symbols such as circles, a shape representative of the moon and symbolic of the female, and birds, which represent the human spirit.
 
“Delita Martin: Calling Down the Spirits” showcases seven monumental works combining tradition with innovation. Through her rigorous and meticulously layered process, Martin creates striking images that bridge time and space between generations.
 
Image credits:
Delita Martin, The Moon and the Little Bird, 2018; Acrylic, charcoal, gelatin printing, collagraph printing, relief printing, decorative papers, hand-stitching, and liquid gold leaf on paper, 79 x 102 in.; Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Myrtis; Photo by Joshua Asante Photographer: Joshua Asante