Robert Pruitt | CAAM

by Niza Metoyer

Artadia awardee Robert Pruitt creates and illuminates connections between spiritual traditions, fictional narratives, and technology while investigating how black identity can reside at the intersection of these arenas. Born in Houston and residing in New York, his first major museum exhibition at the California African American Museum in Los Angeles has given Pruitt the chance to reconnect with the religious traditions of his upbringing and explore the theme of devotion. Specifically, we see a spotlight on religious practices carried out with fervor and dedication. He puts drawings on center stage accompanied by sculptures acting as ceremonial objects, and a soundtrack collaboration with trumpeter, composer, and rapper Jawwaad Taylor, creating a feeling of introspection.

That is not all. Incorporated into Pruitt's grand showcase are a selection of works from CAAM’s permanent collection by artists who have influenced Pruitt, including Charles White and John Biggers. Through this, the idea of spirituality continues to shine, allowing these other objects to speak to Pruitt's connections to the African American art community in LA. The exhibition is curated by Mar Hollingsworth, Visual Arts Curator and Program Manager, and will be on display until February, 17 at the California African American Museum.