John Dunkley, Banana Plantation, c. 1945, mixed media on plywood.
John Dunkley (1891–1947) is widely considered to be one of Jamaica’s most important artists. This first exhibition of his oeuvre outside of his native country creates an international context for its appreciation. Composed of forty-five works, it includes his paintings from the 1930s and 1940s, which are primarily landscapes defined by their distinctive dark palette and psychologically suggestive underpinnings, alongside rare carved wood and stone figurative sculptures. Dunkley was working at a pivotal time in Jamaica’s history, contributing to the formation of an independent nation. His life and work provide insight into the broader economic and social factors, as well as the popular culture, that defined this era in Jamaica and the Caribbean.
(Photo by Franz Marzouca. Image courtesy of the American Folk Art Museum)