ZENITH GALLERYest. 1978
Celebrating 39 Years in the Nation’s Capital
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LEDA BLACK


 

 

Saying “NO” is a super power. Ruth Bader Ginsburg (born Joan Ruth Bader; March 15, 1933) is an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Ginsburg was appointed by President Bill Clinton and took the oath of office on August 10, 1993. She is the second female justice to be confirmed to the Court (after Sandra Day O’Connor) and one of four female justices to be confirmed (with Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, who are still serving). Following Justice O’Connor’s retirement and prior to Justice Sotomayor joining the Court, Ginsburg was the only female justice on the Supreme Court. During that time, Ginsburg became more forceful with her dissents, noted by legal observers and in popular culture. Ginsburg spent a considerable portion of her legal career as an advocate for the advancement of gender equality and women’s rights, winning multiple victories arguing before the Supreme Court. She advocated as a volunteer lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union and was a member of its board of directors and one of its general counsels in the 1970s. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter appointed her to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit where she served until her elevation to the Supreme Court. Ginsburg has been referred to as a “pop culture icon”. Ginsburg’s profile began to rise after Justice O’Connor’s retirement in 2005 left Ginsburg as the only serving female justice. Ginsburg’s increasingly fiery dissents, particularly in Shelby County v. Holder, led to the creation of the Notorious R.B.G. Tumblr and meme comparing the justice to rapper The Notorious B.I.G. The creator of the Notorious R.B.G. Tumblr, then-law student Shana Knizhnik, teamed up with MSNBC reporter Irin Carmon to turn the blog into a book titled Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Released in October 2015, the book became New York Times bestseller. Ginsburg herself admitted to having a “large supply” of Notorious R.B.G. T-shirts which she distributed as gifts. Her family and close friends claim that Ginsburg herself does not have a “pop culture” personality and find the whole thing bemusing. About the Dissent Jabot. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg has a fabulous jabot, or decorative collar, collection to wear with her black robe. During an extensive interview with Yahoo News’ Katie Couric, Ginsburg showed off her assortment of collars. She has a “dissenting collar,” which she explained to Couric “looks fitting for dissents.” She also has a collar for when she writes the majority opinion, which was a gift from her law clerks. Ginsburg was seen wearing her dissent collar on November 9, 2016.

DISSENT
Digital original printed on canvas.
Open edition

20” x 16”
On display at Zenith Gallery until Oct. 15, 2017
Price Inquiry
art@zenithgallery.com
202-783-2963


 

Harriet Tubman (born Araminta Ross; c.1822 – March 10, 1913) was an American abolitionist, humanitarian, and an armed scout and spy for the United States Army during the American Civil War. Born into slavery, Tubman escaped and subsequently made some thirteen missions to rescue approximately seventy enslaved families and friends, using the network of antislavery activists and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad. She later helped abolitionist John Brown recruit men for his raid on Harpers Ferry, and in the post-war era was an active participant in the struggle for women’s suffrage. This design is based on a previously undocumented photograph which has emerged from the ether of history, showing the Underground Railroad “conductor” in her younger days — slim, impeccably dressed and confident. The late 1860s carte-de-visite photo comes from fellow abolitionist Emily Howland’s album. It is now in the collection of the Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of African American History and Culture.

FEARLESS
Digital original printed on canvas.
Open edition

20” x 16”
On display at Takoma Busboys & Poets Location till Nov 26, 2017
SOLD (But more available)
Price Inquiry
art@zenithgallery.com
202-783-2963
 

Female Power Project- I have created these posters inspired by the power of particular women. In each I have tried not mainly to represent the person, but to represent the attributes and message—or power—of the person, in words and in images, and in relation to their story. Their purpose is to remind us of the positive powers we can use to resist hatred and intolerance. Words and images matter. FIGHT- Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton (born October 26, 1947) was the first female candidate to be nominated for president by a major U.S. political party. The words are from Clinton’s concession speech given on November 9, 2016. The design is reminiscent of traditional pugilist promotion posters.  

FIGHT
Digital original printed on canvas
Open edition

20” x 16”

On display at Takoma Busboys & Poets Location till Nov 26, 2017
Price Inquiry
art@zenithgallery.com
202-783-2963

 

As a six-year-old, Ruby Bridges famously became the first African American child to desegregate an all-white elementary school in the South. When the 1st grader walked to William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans on November 14, 1960 surrounded by a team of U.S. Marshals, she was met by a vicious mob shouting and throwing objects at her. One of the federal marshals, Charles Burks, who served on her escort team, recalls Bridges’ courage in the face of such hatred: “For a little girl six years old going into a strange school with four strange deputy marshals, a place she had never been before, she showed a lot of courage. She never cried. She didn’t whimper. She just marched along like a little soldier. We were all very proud of her.” Once Ruby entered the school, she discovered that it was devoid of children because they had all been removed by their parents due to her presence. The only teacher willing to have Ruby as a student was Barbara Henry, who had recently moved from Boston. Ruby was taught by herself for her first year at the school due to the white parents’ refusal to have their children share a classroom with a black child. Despite daily harassment, which required the federal marshals to continue escorting her to school for months; threats towards her family; and her father’s job loss due to his family’s role in school integration, Ruby persisted in attending school. The following year, when she returned for second grade, the mobs were gone and more African American students joined her at the school. The pioneering school integration effort was a success due to Ruby Bridges’ inspiring courage, perseverance, and resilience.

SHE PERSISTED
Digital original printed on canvas
Open edition.

20” x 16”
 
On display at Takoma Busboys & Poets Location till Nov 26
Price Inquiry
art@zenithgallery.com
202-783-2963
 

 


 

Part of the Female Power Project In which the principles of feminist political action are grounded in metaphysics, and art performs the ritual. The piece is a ladder holding 10 containers (re)constructed from shards of broken vessels, arranged on seven levels in three columns. Inspired by concepts found in the Jewish mystical tradition, the piece comes from the conviction that something fundamentally destructive has happened and a rebuilding must be undertaken. The shard vessels are strange and the original vessels—from which the shards came—are prosaic, kitschy, and often ugly. There is no pattern to follow to create the repair except for failed traditions and institutions, but still, something must be done. There is a pathetic absurdity to the objects and the enterprise; still, the stakes are high and humans must continue to be present and act in the world even when the presence of good is hidden. In the Jewish tradition, creation was a “Shattering of the Vessels” when the originating power (in a “Big Bang”) could not be contained, and the shards of these primal vessels were dropped into the world. For the purposes of this sculpture I imagine that any object in the world could be a shard of the primordial vessel, especially things which are separated from their original purpose. The shards, themselves polluted, are said to function as containers to protect the sparks of power scattered in the world. In this way the good power in the world is shielded by the deformed vessels. There are ten aspects to the sparks hidden in the world, along with ten opposites that stand in tension with them. These aspects are represented by words scribed into lead and attached with a chain to their opposite inside the vessel, hanging inside and out in a similar way to how a label connects to a tea bag. There is a long tradition, most evident in ancient Roman archeology, of magic words being written on lead sheets and thrown into wells and other contained spaces. I was struck by how the words describing the divine and its opposite relate to the ideas at play in current resistance movements: Error & Unity; Blame & Beauty; Confusion & Wisdom; Secrecy & Understanding; Fear & Action. In the Jewish tradition, humans are tasked with the project of “Repairing the World.” This involves, along with proper actions, a being-present (“Here I Am,” says Abraham) with the holy presence of the sparks. The goal is to reunite the scattered sparks with the original power. The sparks are said to be the feminine aspect of the original, undifferentiated, power. This is how “Assembling the Shards” relates to the Female Power Project. The viewer of the sculpture is prompted to mark her own presence by taking a pebble from the bucket and placing it on the ladder. This is a practice relating to another Jewish tradition of placing a pebble on the tombstone when visiting a grave.

PRESENCE: Assembling the Shards
Sculpture
76” x 48” x 24”
On display at Zenith Gallery until Oct. 15, 2017
Price Inquiry
art@zenithgallery.com
202-783-2963

 
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ZENITH GALLERY est. 1978
TWO LOCATIONS:
UPPER NORTHWEST GALLERY: 1429 Iris Street, NW,  Washington DC 20012       MAP
Gallery Hours: Wednesday - Saturday, 12:00 - 6:00 pm, Or by appointment 
DOWNTOWN GALLERY: 1111 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington DC 20004       MAP
Hours: Monday - Friday 8 am - 7 pm, Saturdays 8 am - 4 pm
(On Saturday Enter on 12th St. NW DC 20004; Knock and a guard will let you in.)
Tel: 202-783-2963      Email: art@zenithgallery.com