Black Valhalla

What a joy to spend a day at the Met with artist and educator Noah Jamison and see his painting "Black Valhalla" currently on view at the museum.

Black Valhalla by Noah Jamison

About Noah:

After receiving his MFA from the University of Iowa in 1974, Noah moved to NYC and began teaching and exhibiting.  He exhibited his work at JAM or Just Above Midtown, a gallery and experimental space open from 1974 to 1986 where Black artists were free to explore various forms of art and push their creative boundaries.

Noah's painting of "Black Valhalla" shows his mastery of encaustic, a technique in which paint is mixed with molten wax.  The painting was purchased by the Met museum in 1977.  I was impressed with the large fields of color that form the two silhouettes.  When you stand close to the painting, the numerous and meticulously applied pigmented layers needed to achieve the bold forms becomes evident.  

Created in the immediate aftermath of the Vietnam War, the painting's title references the great hall in Norse mythology in which slain warriors were received.

Noah's painting has been on view in a recent exhibition devoted to JAM's history at the Museum of Modern Art.