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News: ON VIEW | Beverley McIver at North Carolina Museum of Art, February 14, 2024

ON VIEW | Beverley McIver at North Carolina Museum of Art

February 14, 2024

Beverley McIver, Truly Grateful, 2011, oil on canvas, North Carolina Museum of Art, Gift in memory of Janet Martin Lampkin, former member of the executive committee of the Friends of African and African American Art

See more works by Beverley McIver: https://www.berrycampbell.com/artist/Beverly_McIver/works/


A notable presence in American contemporary art, Beverly McIver has charted new directions as a Black female artist. With breathtaking honesty and virtuoso painting, her works tackle difficult themes about the human condition such as depression, racism, poverty, disability, and death. A recent article in Forbes compared her works both to “Frida Kahlo’s heart wrenching self-portraits,” and the “publicly exposed raw autobiography with the likes of Sylvia Plath poetry.” She has received numerous awards and honors and has been the subject of eleven museum exhibitions.

Born and raised in Greensboro, North Carolina, McIver grew up in a single-parent household. Her mother worked tirelessly to make ends meet to support McIver and two sisters, one of which, Renee, has developmental disabilities. Despite these challenges, McIver pursued her artistic inquiry through her education, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Painting and Drawing from North Carolina Central University and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Painting and Drawing from Pennsylvania State University. Her artistic journey serves as a testament to her perseverance and the complexities that shape her identity such as stereotyping, self-acceptance, family, otherness, illness, death and, ultimately, freedom to express one’s individuality.

In 2022, the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Arizona, showcased a survey exhibition of McIver's work titled Full Circle, curated by Kim Boganey, which subsequently traveled to the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and the Gibbes Museum in Charleston, South Carolina. The exhibit was accompanied by a 132-page hardcover catalogue published by the University of California Press with essays by Michele Wallace, leading black feminist scholar and daughter of Beverly’s graduate school mentor, Faith Ringgold, and distinguished scholar of American art history at Duke University, Richard J. Powell.

McIver holds the position of Professor of the Practice in Studio Arts at Duke University, a role she assumed after 12 years of teaching at Arizona State University. Her recent honors include a yearlong residency at the American Academy in Rome, where she was featured in a documentary titled Beverly McIver e il colore nero for Italian television. In 2017, she was honored with the lifetime achievement award from the Anyone Can Fly Foundation in a ceremony hosted by Faith Ringgold. Additionally, she was named one of the "Top Ten in Painting" by Art in America in 2011.

McIver is the subject in HBO’s Raising Renee—a feature-length documentary film by Academy Award-nominated and award-winning filmmakers Steven Ascher and Jeanne Jordan—tells the story of McIver’s promise to care for Renee when their mother dies. The film played in festivals around the country, was nominated for an Emmy® for Outstanding Arts and Culture Programming and is now available on Amazon Prime.

McIver’s work can be found in numerous esteemed collections including the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia, the National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian, Washington, D.C., the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, the North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, the Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, North Carolina, the Baltimore Museum of Art, Maryland, and the Mint Museum, Charlotte, North Carolina, among others.

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