Radcliffe Bailey is a painter, sculptor, and mixed media artist who utilizes the layering of imagery, culturally resonant materials, and text to explore themes of ancestry, race, and memory. Bailey believes that by translating his personal experiences, he can achieve an understanding of, and a healing from, a universal history. His work is often created out of found materials and certain pieces from his past, including traditional African sculpture, tintypes of his family members, piano keys, and Georgia red clay.
In a 2013 interview with Lilly Lampe in BOMBlog, Bailey described his creative process and how he views the past as inherently tied to the present: “The day by day experience of art, even though my work may seem to have this layer of history, it is also a cover for what I’m dealing with on a day to day. It’s very much about today. We were talking about where I go next: I’m still thinking about today and yesterday and what’s coming in front of me tomorrow. It’s my attitude to my studio practice.”
Radcliffe Bailey lives and works in Atlanta, Georgia. A solo traveling exhibition of Bailey’s work, Memory as Medicine, was exhibited at the High Museum of Art in 2011 and subsequently traveled to the Davis Museum and Cultural Center, Wellesley College, Massachusetts and the McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, Texas.
Other recent solo exhibitions include Pensive, SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah, Georgia; Radcliffe Bailey: Storm at Sea, Fine Arts Center Gallery, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas; and Radcliffe Bailey: Recent Works, Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans, Louisiana. In 2014, his large-scale installation, Windward Coast (2009-2011), was presented as part of The First International Biennial of Contemporary Art of Cartagena de Indias, Colombia.
Bailey’s work is included in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Washington, D.C.; the Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas; the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri; the Denver Art Museum, Colorado; and the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia among many others.
Jack Shainman Gallery has represented Bailey since 2002. Solo exhibitions in the gallery include Quest (2016), Maroons (2014), Outer Spaceways (2011), Altered Destiny (2007), and Meet Me by the River (2002).