Reginald Sanders

From Minnesota Artists Exhibition Program

Artist: Reginald Sanders
February 28 - April 20, 1997
Minnesota Artists Gallery

This exhibition of kinesthetic abstractions and miniature collages by 75-year-old artist, writer, and musician Reginald Sanders explored the relationship between jazz and contemporary abstraction.

Although Reginald Sanders exhibited early in his career and received some critical attention, he was extremely shy and suffered from the racism that was prevalent in his life. He withdrew from the public world of art in the mid-1960s and didn't emerge again for nearly 30 years. In 1990, Sanders experienced an artistic rebirth, and by the age of 75, he had accumulated an important and beautiful body of work.

For years, he had been inspired by such jazz masters as Count Basie, Duke Ellington, and Miles Davis. The layered and rhythmic surfaces of Sanders' paintings and drawings are often characterized by the ambidextrous mark-making he does while listening to music. “Reginald Sanders” emphasized his most recent works on paper, including crayon and graphite drawings and translucent mixed-media collages. The exhibition was accompanied by audio interviews with Sanders that explored his relationship with jazz.

The reception for “Reginald Sanders” coincided with the premiere screening of Not a Nickel's Worth of Doubt, a one-hour documentary by Terri Myers about the life and art of Reggie Anderson (a.k.a. Reginald Sanders). The film was made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Public Broadcasting Services, the National Black Programming Consortium, the Minnesota Humanities Commission in cooperation with the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Minnesota State Legislature, and many private donors.


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  • Opening Reception: Thursday, March 6, 1997; premiere of film Not a Nickel's Worth of Doubt, by Terri Myers; performance of original jazz compositions by pianist John Sims, Jr.
  • Film screenings: Not a Nickel's Worth of Doubt, by Terri Myers, on April 6 and 13, 1997 in the Pillsbury Auditorium.
  • Gallery conversation (following the April 13 screening of Not a Nickel's Worth of Doubt, a conservation with filmmaker Terry Myers, artist Clarence Morgan, and historian Musa Moore-Foster)
  • ArtsBreak Event of MIA (An ArtsBreak luncheon sponsored by the membership and development department at The Minneapolis Institute of Arts featured a tour of “Reginald Sanders” led by Stewart Turnquist, coordinator of MAEP, on March 17, 1997.)

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