Roland Ayers, Untitled [Pyramid]

Pen and ink on paper
Credit Line
Museum purchase, 2017
19 3/4 x 19 1/2 in.

Eminent figures in twentieth-century art and culture such as W. E. B. Du Bois, Langston Hughes, Aaron Douglas, and Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller viewed ancient Egypt as a means to reframe modern Black identity through an African culture associated with greatness and strength. In this work, Ayers draws and redraws the forms of Egyptian pyramids in relation to different types of orbs and circles, arranged symmetrically. Intertwined with dynamic rays of light and cloudbursts, the elements of the composition suggest distinct centers of potent energy. Ayers, a student of Eastern philosophy and religion, created this work in the form of a mandala, a circular image used to nurture meditation and spiritual focus.

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