Faith Ringgold is a painter, author, mixed media sculptor, performance artist and lecturer. After creating political paintings in the 1960s, Ringgold produced tankas (inspired by Tibetan art), soft sculptures and masks that she used in her performances in the 1970s. In the 1980s she began making her famous quilts. By adding text, she has developed a unique medium and style: the story quilt.
Faith Ringgold’s vibrant story quilts combine her personal history with the general life experience of African-American life. For Ringgold, the practice of quilt-making is historically and politically important as it references an artistic tradition mastered by enslaved black women and men. It can not only be seen as a creative escape of the horrors of enslavement, but also as a mode of survival. Formally, she considers the story quilts paintings - her quilts are constructed with only a simple backing, a painting, and a border.
Faith Ringgold, born 1930 in Harlem, New York is the recipient of more than 80 awards including 23 Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degrees. She is professor emerita of the University of California, San Diego, where she taught art from 1984 until 2002. Ringgold’s art can be found in the permanent collections of numerous museums including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in NY; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, National Gallery of Art, DC; among others.