623 West 27th Street
NY-10001 New York

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press release

Clementine Gallery announces the opening of Quiet As Kept, an exhibition of new work in the Main Gallery by Robert Pruitt. The show will run from November 30, 2006 - January 6, 2007. A reception for the public will be held on Thursday, November 30th, from 6-8 PM.

In Quiet as Kept, Robert Pruitt explores the subtle and little known examples of secrecy within African American culture. These secrets manifest themselves as the rich heritages, based mainly in African tribal tradition and American slave history, which are concealed beneath the surface of contemporary black society. Pruitt reveals these hidden legacies through his sculpture, re-configured commonplace objects, and through a series of life-size hand-drawn portraits of friends and neighbors from his community, Houston’s Third Ward. He depicts his subjects wearing both sacred African tribal garments and urban street clothes thereby creating layered portraits of individuals with unique and complex identities. Quiet as Kept celebrates these individuals and the secrets they possess as pillars of strength within a community which is frequently barraged and exploited. As Pruitt writes, “it seems that one of the most damaging aspects of living the black experience is the constant blast of inside information being broadcast to the world…Dances are stolen, neighborhoods gentrified, language appropriated and images exploited…The risks of constantly giving away cultural productions and idioms is that it leaves your community naked.”

Robert Pruitt’s work is currently on view in a solo exhibition at the Contemporary Art Museum of Houston, in Texas. Past exhibitions include the 2006 Whitney Biennial and Frequency at the Studio Museum in Harlem.

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Robert A. Pruitt
Quiet As Kept