Debra Cartwright’s Abstract Paintings Examine the History of Medical Science and Black Womanhood

Written by on March 19, 2023

Debra Cartwright’s oil paintings integrate the history of Western gynecology with the representation of Black womanhood. Cartwright’s paintings seduce the viewer on first sight through their use of a muted, earth-tone color palette and the combination of abstraction and figuration. We can barely identify parts of the body, like a torso, buttocks, or braids. Over time, however, the seduction unravels as we begin to see blood, flesh, and possibly organs.

Cartwright’s paintings wrestle with the painful history of using enslaved . . .

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