• John Dunkley, Acrobat, n.d., mahogany, 9 3/8 × 4 5/8 × 4 1/2".

    John Dunkley, Acrobat, n.d., mahogany, 9 3/8 × 4 5/8 × 4 1/2".


    Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM)
    1103 Biscayne Blvd.
    May 26–January 14, 2017

    Curated by Diana Nawi with Nicole Smythe-Johnson

    When Franklin Sirmans took over the directorship of the Pérez in 2015, the institution repositioned itself as an international beacon of modern and contemporary art, and it continues to shine a light on unexpected and deserving artists from the Caribbean and Latin America. Take this summer’s exhibition, which will present the work of historical painter and sculptor John Dunkley (1891–1947) for the first time outside his native Jamaica. Dunkley began to paint in Panama while he worked as a barber, and he returned to Jamaica in the mid- to late 1920s, continuing to paint and make wooden carvings during a fervent period of black internationalism that stirred Jamaica’s nascent independence movement. With an earthy palette of muted greens and browns, Dunkley’s detailed imagery nevertheless evokes a verdant site of possibility. An accompanying English-Spanish catalogue with contributions by the curators as well as essays by Jamaican artist and art historian David Boxer and West Indian historian Olive Senior will provide necessary scholarship on an artist largely unknown in the US.