Donald Locke: Selected Works: 1985-2008
Born in Stewartsville, Demerara, Guyana, South America, Donald Locke (1930-2010) was active on the international art scene, and spent his last twenty years, perhaps the most productive and innovative period of his life, in Atlanta, Georgia. He studied at Bath Academy of Art, Corsham, England, 1954-57 on a British Council Scholarship. In 1964, he graduated with honors from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland with a masters degree in art. After returning home to Guyana to work and teach for some time, he returned to Europe where he lived and practiced his art until being awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1979. Locke was the recipient of several prestigious awards and he represented Guyana at the 12th Sao Paolo Biennial in 1971 and The World Black Festival of Arts, Lagos, Nigeria in 1977.
Like many artists and writers of his generation who came of age during the forties, fifties and sixties; a period of anti-colonialist movement in India, Africa and the Caribbean, Donald Locke developed a critical framework to engage with issues of history , identity and authenticity. His work confronts tradition while absorbing the formal tenets of modernism. Donald Locke's intention was not to seize stylistic innovation directly from the past, but to revive in modernist terms, an indigenous culture to help forge a post-colonial identity. Revolution, transformation and idealization are born from radical elimination, and the foundation of new culture , must lie in demolition or reconfiguration of the past. He was a painter, sculptor, potter and writer of immense reputation whose work mined the microcosm of his culture for symbols that can be universally understood.
Donald Locke's work is in several private and public collections around the world including The Victoria and Albert Museum, London, Tate Britain, London, National Museum of African American Art and Culture, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, High Museum, Atlanta, Georgia, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York and The Guyana National Collection, Georgetown, Guyana, South America, His work will also be included in the landmark exhibition Art from Britain and the Caribbean, a major group exhibition organized by Tate Britain, December 1, 2021 – April 3, 2022