ARTISTS > MARGARET ROSE VENDRYES

Puna Janelle, African Diva, 2014
Oil & cold wax on canvas and African wood mask
60 x 30 inches
Oil and cold wax on canvas, painted Guro mask, 36 x 78 inches (including 2 inch mask extension)
Oil and cold wax on canvas, painted Guro mask
36 x 78 inches (including 2 inch mask extension)
2014
Kifwebe Jody
Oil & cold wax on canvas
30 x 30 inches
Gelede Cherrelle
Oil & cold wax on canvas
30 x 30 inches
2012
Sowei RuPaul
Oil & cold wax on canvas
48 x 48 inches
2012
Jolly Diana
Oil & cold wax on canvas
50 x 50 inches + Mask Extention
2012
Igbo Grace
Oil & cold wax on canvas
48 x 48 inches
Bwa Aretha
Oil & cold wax on canvas
36 x 36 inches
Lwena Dianne
Oil and Cold Wax on Canvas
36 x 36 Inches
2012
Mossi Cassandra
Oil & cold wax on canvas
36 x 36 inches
2012
Yoruba DeeDEE
Oil & cold wax on canvas
36 x 36 inches
2012
Ekoi Whitney
Oil & cold wax on canvas
36 x 36 inches
Gbagba Eartha
Oil & cold wax on canvas
36 x 36 inches
Ejaham Chaka
Oil & cold wax on canvas
36 x 36 inches + Mask Extension
2012
Anang Tammi
Oil & cold wax on canvas
30 x 30 inches
Kwele Betty
Oil & cold wax on canvas
30 x 30 inches
Izzi Nancy
Oil & cold wax on canvas
48 x 48 inches
Yaka Tina
Oil & cold wax on canvas
48 x 48 inches
Zamble Irene
Oil & cold wax on canvas
30 x 30 inches
Collection of Edward C. Dees
Oil & cold wax on canvas
36 x 36 inches
Guro Mariah
Oil & cold wax on canvas
36 x 36 inches
Bobo Minni
Oil & cold wax on canvas
36 x 36 inches
Kasai Natalie
Oil & cold wax on canvas
30 x 30 inches
Kuba Diana
Oil & cold wax on canvas
30 x 30 inches
Luba Sarah
Oil & cold wax on canvas
30 x 30 inches
Malinke Shirley
Oil & cold wax on canvas
36 x 36 inches
Mano Lena
Oil & cold wax on canvas
36 x 36 inches
Baule Donna
Oil & cold wax on canvas
36 x 36 inches
Chokwe Anita
Oil & cold wax on canvas
30 x 30 inches
Dan Joan
Oil & cold wax on canvas
36 x 36 inches
Punu Thelma
Oil & cold wax on canvas
30 x 30 inches
Dyula Nina
Oil & cold wax on canvas
30 x 30 inches
Pumbu Abbey
Oil & cold wax on canvas
36 x 36 inches

Margaret Rose Vendryes has established a successful studio practice enhanced by her scholarly engagement with African aesthetics and its intersection with popular black music and visual culture.
Vendryes is The Department Chairperson; Director, Fine Arts Gallery, Associate Professor and Chair of Performing and Fine Arts at York College in New York. She is the author of Barthé, A Life in Sculpture (2008). Venfryes received a PhD in Art History from Princeton University, an MA in Art History from Tulane University and an AB in Fine Arts from Amherst College.

The African Diva Project Side A
Each square canvas in my %African Diva Projec%t is modeled after a 12-inch LP album cover featuring a portrait of a popular black female soloist. Every Diva wears an African mask, chosen for its character and/or aesthetic compatibility to her image. The mask is painted on paper and applied to the canvas. In Africa, masks (many depicting powerful female deities or ancestors) are worn almost exclusively by men. I give these dynamic female performers agency and protection replacing their psychological mask with a literal one. Songs – messages that once rose out of vinyl channels like black magic – are inscribed in the space that surrounds them. The series includes 33 1/3 paintings.

The African Diva Project Side B
The African Diva Project questions the role of race and gender identification in contemporary African and African American communities. Side B, currently in progress, includes the provocative addition of hand-carved African masks attached to the canvas rather than painted on paper as in Side A. Many of these “decorative” African objects are beautifully rendered after traditional forms to introduce innovations in contemporary African masquerade.

ART TALK Video Interview: Race. Power. Gender. Identity.
Montclair Art Museum Director, Lora Urbanelli and artist Margaret Rose Vendryes discuss how race, power, gender and identity are investigated in her African Diva Project paintings.
click here for the Video

Video Interview with Essence Senior Editor, Patrik Henry Bass
Biography