The Field Gallery, in conjunction with the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, presents The Heads: 1986, a series of early studies by the acclaimed artist Charles McGill which explore race and identity. The Heads is on view from Saturday, Oct. 5, through Sunday, Nov 17. An opening reception will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. Oct. 5.
Beneath the suit, beneath the businessman, beyond assimilation, the black man is seen, McGill explains, as “a man who is expected to always know his place, despite his innate ambition.” In their unblinking portraits, the heads notice, they observe warily, but their eyes remain shaded from view.
McGill explains the urgency in his process: “When these were made, canvases were unprimed, raw, bare … they had immediacy. It didn’t feel like there was time. They had to be put down as fast as possible. Reflected in the paintings are quick judgments, nightmare caricatures, and uncomfortable truths: black men seen as unnerving and insolent.
The Field Library Gallery is located at 4 Nelson Ave., Peekskill. Visit peekskill.org.