Lonnie Holley: Stepping in the Footprint

Lonnie Holley, I Knew Him Before the Breakdown, Archival inkjet print, 2009

Institute 193 is pleased to present “Stepping in the Footprint,” an exhibition of work by the Atlanta-based artist Lonnie Holley. The exhibition will open to the public on April, 19 from 5 -8 PM and includes a series of new paintings, photographs, sculptural found-object assemblages, and site-specific installations that reflect Holley’s personal philosophies regarding race and cultural identity in the context of the natural and the built environment. This is Holley’s first exhibition in Kentucky.

Holley’s art practice is diverse, but he is best known for richly symbolic assemblages that examine spirituality, African-American history, and the interconnectedness of all things. This exhibition includes a variety of work that demonstrates Holley’s talent for creating powerful visual narratives with sculptural forms. It also features a new series of many-layered paintings on cloth created with spray-paint.

A seasoned educator, Holley will also lead a series of workshops at Bryan Station High School and Sayre School in Lexington, KY during the week of his opening.

On Thursday, April 18 from 7 – 9 PM, Institute 193 will host a musical performance by Holley in collaboration with his Atlanta-based record label, Dust-to-Digital, who recently released an album of Holley’s music titled JUST BEFORE MUSIC. Over the past few months, Lonnie has performed at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, the Whitney Museum of American Art in NY, and at other music venues in the Southeast. His album was reviewed by Greg Tate in the March issue of Wire Magazine. According to Dust-to-Digital:

Holley did not start making and performing music in a studio nor does his creative process mirror that of the typical musician. His music and lyrics are improvised on the spot and morph and evolve with every event, concert, and recording. In Holley’s original art environment, he would construct and deconstruct his visual works, repurposing their elements for new pieces. This often led to the transfer of individual narratives into the new work creating a cumulative composite image that has depth and purpose beyond its original singular meaning. The layers of sound in Holley’s music, likewise, are the result of decades of evolving experimentation. “Just Before Music” features Holley’s first studio recordings made in 2010 and 2011.

Lonnie Holley: Just Before Music - released in 2012 by Dust-to-Digital

Born in Birmingham, AL in 1950, Lonnie Holley’s work is included in the collections of the Smithsonian American Museum of Art (Washington, DC), the American Folk Art Museum (New York, NY), the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, among others.

This exhibition was funded in part by an Eco Arts grant from the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government Department of Environmental Quality and Public Works.

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