Elizabeth Colomba Repainting the Story
A strong commitment to the figurative tradition defines Elizabeth Colomba’s provocative narratives. In her first solo museum exhibition, the colonial-era interiors of Bainbridge House provide an eloquent foil for the artist’s paintings, which foreground historical and fictional Black women, often richly dressed and placed in the opulent spaces from which they have been erased or in which they were assigned subservient roles. Colomba’s radical resettings of established themes in Western art and culture present her heroines—including the biblical Eve, the mythological Danaë, and the Black model Laure, who posed as the servant in Édouard Manet’s painting Olympia—as central and universal figures. Colomba liberates Black women from traditionally restrictive story lines to reclaim and celebrate their visual autonomy—while addressing her own dual identity as a French citizen of Martinican descent. Curated by Laura Giles, Heather and Paul G. Haaga Jr., Class of 1970, Curator of Prints and Drawings, with Monique Long, independent curator and writer.