san-francisco

Erica Deeman, Derek, 2016, ink-jet print, 26 × 26".

Erica Deeman

Anthony Meier Fine Arts

Erica Deeman, Derek, 2016, ink-jet print, 26 × 26".

“And you are not the guy and still you fit the description because there is only one guy who is always the guy fitting the description,” Claudia Rankine repeats four times in Citizen: An American Lyric (2014) a narrative poem that grapples with the insidious and indelible effects of widespread racism. The image of the American black man is unequivocally linked to this country’s racist history, and with “Brown,” her first solo gallery show, British-born artist Erica Deeman joined a centuries-old initiative seeking to counter negative images of African American men in the public consciousness.

The first visage the visitor encountered upon entering Anthony Meier Fine Arts was that of an older man with a furrowed brow who gazes outward, a few inches above eye level (Gregory, 2016). The sitter’s kempt moustache matches his short shock of ash-colored hair. The subtle tonal variations of

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the Summer 2017 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.