Donelle Woolford, ‘Sharrette’, 2010, Galerie Martin Janda

About Donelle Woolford

Donelle Woolford is the creation of Joe Scanlan, a white male who created the persona in 2000 after making a series of collages he thought would be of greater interest if made by someone else. The works made under the pseudonym, Donelle Woolford—envisioned as an African American female and represented by an actress under Scanlan’s direction—are carefully crafted wooden pieces whose antecedents range from Cubism to Kurt Schwitters. Since Woolford’s genesis, she has evolved from an emerging artist to a successful mid-career artist. The project addresses questions about the identity of an artist, challenging the role that biography plays in the production of artworks. “I like the idea that paintings are not representations of an artist’s psyche; they are what give the artist her psyche in the first place,” Scanlan has said.

American, b. 1977