Academic journal article The Journal of Southern History

Fever Within: The Art of Ronald Lockett

Academic journal article The Journal of Southern History

Fever Within: The Art of Ronald Lockett

Article excerpt

Fever Within: The Art of Ronald Lockett. Edited by Bernard L. Herman. (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2016. Pp. lxxvi, 84. $45.00, ISBN 978-1-4696-2762-5.) As a lifelong resident of Bessemer, Alabama, a studio assistant to the celebrated artist Thornton Dial, and a victim of the 1990s AIDS epidemic, Ronald Lockett and his assemblages of wood, wire, enamel, and metal sheeting have previously been subjected to heavy-handed biographical interpretations or confined within overdetermined categories of "folk," "outsider," "self-taught," or "vernacular" art. Fever Within: The Art of Ronald Lockett rewrites Lockett as an innovator who defies categorization. In this collection of essays, material culture scholar Bernard L. Herman offers a close reading of the artist's imagery to give nuance to his biography. Art historian Colin Rhodes tracks stylistic changes in Lockett's work and draws connections with modern predecessors. Critical race, feminist, and queer theory scholar Sharon Patricia Holland traces the personal significance of Lockett's art to her own life and research. Curators Katherine J. Jentleson and Thomas J. …

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