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Faith Ringgold: Jazz Stories

May 28 - June 26, 2022

Opening: Saturday, May 28th, 4:00 - 6:00 pm

South Etna Montauk Foundation


6 South Etna Avenue
Montauk, NY 11954

(Montauk, NY) – The South Etna Montauk Foundation is pleased to announce Faith Ringgold: Jazz Stories, an exhibition by one of America’s most important living artists. Featuring four of Ringgold’s story quilts from her “Jazz Stories” series, the presentation also incorporates drawings and prints.

For this exhibition, South Etna Montauk Foundation collaborated with ACA Galleries, which has long represented and championed Ringgold’s work. Faith Ringgold: Jazz Stories is timed to coincide with her traveling retrospective, organized by the New Museum in New York City (through June 5), which will travel to the De Young Museum in San Francisco (July 16 – November 27, 2022). “Faith Ringgold: Prints and Multiples," an exhibition of Ringgold's printed works, is also on view at ACA Galleries, through June 17th. 

The works in Faith Ringgold: Jazz Stories focus on music, a subject close to Ringgold’s heart, and provide an extraordinary opportunity to consider Ringgold’s relationship to jazz. As a child in 1930s Harlem, many of her neighbors were renowned musicians. As Ringgold recently told The New Yorker, “I have spent a lifetime listening to the great music of Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie, and others. Many of these musicians also lived in Harlem, so, even though they were stars, they were also neighbors.” 

Ringgold's work has universal appeal. The figures that populate the paintings, drawings, and prints in Jazz Stories remain anonymous. Ringgold’s crooners, trumpeters, dancers, and drummers might be anyone and everyone. Jazz fills the entirety of each piece and these jubilant works ensure that viewers feel their music without hearing a note. 

As Ringgold herself has said of Jazz Stories, “I could easily spend the rest of my life singing my song in pictures.”

A highlight of the exhibition is the story quilt Jazz Stories: Mama Can Sing, Papa Can Blow #1: Somebody Stole My Broken Heart, which was featured on the cover of The New Yorker on March 28, 2022.

Ringgold has been a trailblazer throughout her career, often among the first to address difficult subject matter head on. And these works are no different: they weave moments of joy with songs of deep sorrow. 

Her reach as an artist, activist, educator, and children’s book author knows no bounds as her influence continues to grow.

Describing the trajectory of her work, Nancy Spector has said: “Ringgold’s paintings from the 60s and 70s are overtly political, and present an angry, critical reappraisal of the American dream glimpsed through the filter of race and gender relations. Ringgold’s more recent aesthetic strategy is not one of political agitation or blatant visual provocation. Instead, she has come to embrace the potential for social change by undermining racial and gender stereotypes through impassioned and optimistic presentations of black female heroines.” 


Faith Ringgold, born 1930 in Harlem, New York, is  a painter, sculptor, teacher, activist and author of numerous award winning children’s books. Ringgold received her B.S. and M.A. degrees in visual art from the City College of New York in 1955 and 1959. Professor Emeritus of Art at the University of California in San Diego, Faith Ringgold has received 25 Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degrees. She is the recipient of more than 80 awards and honors including the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship; two National Endowment for the Arts Awards; The American Academy of Arts and Letters Award and the Medal of Honor for Fine Arts from the National Arts Club. Ringgold’s work is in the permanent collections of numerous museums in the United States and abroad including The Art Institute of Chicago, IL; The Baltimore Museum of Art, MD; The Boston Museum of Fine Art, MA; The High Museum, GA; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; Museum of Modern Art, NY; Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, NY; The Brooklyn Museum, NY; The National Museum of American Art, Washington, DC; The Philadelphia Museum of Art, PA; The Studio Museum, NY; Glenstone Museum, MD; and The Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England, among others. 

Faith Ringgold has been represented worldwide by ACA Galleries since 1995.


Established in 2021 by Adam Lindemann and Amalia Dayan, South Etna Montauk Foundation brings contemporary artists to Montauk to present their work in a storied American place that has served as home and source of inspiration to artists across generations. In addition hosting public exhibitions in its gallery space in the Village of Montauk, this non-profit organization offers East End residencies to artists.

Andrea Schwan

Andrea Schwan Inc.
+1 (917) 371-5023