Lonnie Holley, ‘Face to Face’, 2013, Headlands Center for the Arts: Benefit Auction 2017

Lonnie Holley is an internationally renowned artist and performer whose career over three decades has encompassed drawing, painting, sculpture, and music. Holley’s paintings and found-object sculptures and environments are made of both natural and manmade elements. The densely constructed pieces reference current events and African American history and, like his musical lyrics, reference slavery, the church, and universal ecology. Holley’s work is included in numerous museum collections, including the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.; Philadelphia Museum of Art; New Orleans Museum of Art; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and the High Museum of Art, Atlanta; among others. He is represented by James Fuentes Gallery, New York.
–Courtesy of Headlands Center for the Arts

Image rights: Courtesy of the artist and Paulson Fontaine Press

About Lonnie Holley

Lonnie Holley is a man of many myths and talents. Born in Jim Crow-era Birmingham, Alabama, as the seventh of 27 children, Holley traveled across the South and held a wide array of jobs (grave digger, cotton picker, and short-order cook at Disney World) before making his first artwork at the age of 29. Self taught, he started carving sculptures from sandstone and then settled on his preferred material: found objects. Holley has made totemic sculptures from items such as steel scrap, plastic flowers, melted televisions, defunct machines, and crosses. His work has been collected by several museums, including the Birmingham Museum of Art and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Recently, Holley has also gained recognition for his music, and he has collaborated with the indie-rock bands Dirty Projectors and Animal Collective.

American, b. 1950, Birmingham, Alabama, based in Birmingham, Alabama