common GroundBrookman, Phillip
Common Ground is a stunning collection of more than 160 evocative photographs, paintings, drawings, and sculptures selected from the collection of Julia J. Norrell, a child of the South and the daughter of two members of Congress who treasures art's revelation of both beauty and truth (however disturbing), capacity for inspiring compassion, and celebration of diversity and resiliency. Her vision is praised by Bill Clinton in his foreword and elucidated in detail by Philip Brookman, a curator at the Corcoran Galley of Art in Washington, D.C. The works themselves embody essential and universal aspects of the human experience, namely our sense of place and time, hope and belief, memory and tribute. The photographs rule the book, particularly indelible images by Walker Evans, Roy DeCarava, Chester Higgins Jr., and Gordon Parks, but every work is compelling, and the juxtapositions and synergy found between this unusual book's covers are truly inspiriting. Donna Seaman This book explores the universal human experiences of struggle, transcendence and salvation through painting, sculpture, folk art, photography and assemblage from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Over 160 evocative works reflect five key themes: time, past and present; memory and tribute; community; hope and belief; and a sense of place. Artists include Brassaï, William Christenberry, Walker Evans, Howard Finster, Robert Frank, Laura Gilpin, Jacob Lawrence, Sally Mann, Zwelethu Mthethwa, James VanDerZee, Roman Vishniac, Carrie Mae Weems, Fred Wilson and many others.