Barbara Chase-Riboud is the brilliant author of the critically acclaimed 1979 novel Sally Hemmings.
The best-selling book revealed the intimate relationship in Paris between a young slave, Sally Hemmings, and her master, Thomas Jefferson, the future president of the United States.
DNA analysis in 1998 confirmed Jefferson family background, on both sides of the aisle.
Lucian K. Truscott IV — a direct descendent of Jefferson who played at Monticello as a child — spoke out strongly on Oprah for his black relatives’ right to be buried at Monticello.
In late fall 2020, when Jefferson’s name was officially removed from a grade school in suburban Washington D.C., the Jefferson-Hemmings relatives started to exhale….
A Parisienne since the sixties, Barbara Chase-Riboud, was married to the late Magnum photographer Marc Riboud, who fought with the French Resistance in 1943-45, then worked with Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa and visited China repeatedly.
The Avatars exhibition at La Verriere Museum, Brussels, Belgium, was filmed by Fondation d’Enterprise Hèrmes.
After the show, you might enjoy Chase-Riboud’s online interview with curator Guilliame Désanges.
Chase-Riboud, mainly known these days as a draftsman and sculptor, works with charcoal and ink, fiber, wool, silk and bronze.
The Brussels show presents her small framed “white drawings” of delicate white silk script on white paper. And her “black drawings” in charcoal, which mix the very abstract and the very classic, “two opposing ways of drawing memorials to memorials that don’t exist.” Perhaps a bit “schizophrenic,” she admits.
Her large sculptures, which the curator calls her “steles,” combine both harshness and sensuality.