NYU Black Renaissance Noire Volume 18 Issue 1 - Winter 2018 - Page 60

visual arts Mildred Howard Assegnazione con De Seingalt, I - XII 2017 Mildred Howard’s 2017 chine collé print series, Assegnazione con De Seingalt, the artist appropriates lithograph illustrations from an 18th-century edition of Casanova’s journals; in the context of the recent public reckoning with sexual behavior by powerful men, the Casanova legend becomes a fascinating cipher for the myth of irresistible male sexuality. Assegnazione con De Seingalt I , 2017 Found antique engravings, digital images, maps, various papers, lithography, chine collé, 20.75” by 17” published at sharks ink, lyons, co l Assegnazione con De Seingalt II , 2017 Found antique engravings, digital images, maps, various papers, lithography, chine collé, 20.75” by 17” published at sharks ink, lyons, co m Howard entangles this imagery with layers of vegetal and floral motifs, suggesting naturally occurring cycles of attraction and reproduction and highlighting in turn the artifice of our libidinal exploits here in the human world. Stylistically, Seingalt suggests a historical link between Surrealist collage pioneer Max Ernst and the medium’s contemporary vanguards: Howard tips a hat to the elegant, mysterious combinations of Ernst’s collages; she uses this understated and classic style to generate a mood reminiscent of the fiercely political nightmare fables of a younger generation of African-American collage artists. Using a timeless technique to deliver a penetrating subtext, Howard’s seductive compositions are hauntingly relevant to the current news cycle. — Nick Stone