Kumasi J. Barnett, exhibiting artist in "In Blackest Shade, In Darkest Light," 2022.
Jan 26, 2023 - 6
Virtual event

Join us for a virtual talk by Kumasi J. Barnett, presented in conjunction with the In Blackest Shade, In Darkest Light exhibition at Giertz Gallery, Parkland College and the Black on Black on Black on Black lecture series at KAM. Barnett’s work will be on display at Giertz Gallery through February 18, 2023.

Co-sponsored by Giertz Gallery at Parkland College, "Black on Black on Black on Black" Lecture Series, Krannert Art Museum, School of Art & Design, College of Fine & Applied Arts.  

Please visit parkland.edu/blackestshade for more information about the exhibition.


This event will be held online and conducted in English. You must register to participate | Register Online 


The Art & Design Visitors Series and Krannert Art Museum endeavor to present events that are accessible to all. This virtual event will be captioned in English. If you have questions or would like to request an additional accommodation, please email art@illinois.edu

About the Artist

Kumasi J. Barnett’s work is influenced by the aesthetics and narratives of comic books. Barnett subverts and imbues the often-timeless genre with a present-day social consciousness, riffing on classic superhero series including The Amazing Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk, Superman, Daredevil, and Captain America. He frequently paints directly over old copies of comic books, changing their narratives into critiques of police brutality, racial profiling, and more broadly, systemic racism. 

Barnett's work has been exhibited widely both in the United States and abroad including Bravin Lee Programs, New York; The Arsenal Gallery, New York; and The Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn, New York. Museum exhibitions include the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa in Cape Town, South Africa; The Boca Raton Museum of Art, Boca Raton, Florida; and most recently the Verge Center for the Arts, Sacramento, California. Barnett's work has been featured in Artforum, Vibe, Hyperallergic, AMMO, Huffington Post, and The Guardian, among others. 

His work included in In Blackest Shade, In Darkest Light are from a series of 100 hand-painted comic book works pinned up in their clear plastic sleeves. By addressing real-world issues through a superhuman genre, Barnett's work dissolves the disconnect between contemporary American narratives and the reality of "justice," making us reexamine cultural conceptions surrounding the good versus evil paradigm. 

Barnett received his MFA from The Ohio State University, lives and works in Baltimore, MD, and is represented by Lowell Ryan Projects in Los Angeles.