Prints, Drawings, and Photographs
Reversed EvidenceMade in United States, North and Central America
Willie Cole, American, born 1955
Flatiron scorches and padding on paper
Currently not on view
1993-17-1Purchased with the Hunt Corporation (formerly Hunt Manufacturing Co.) Arts Collection Program, 1993
LabelSince the late 1980s, Cole has created numerous works consisting of scorch marks on paper, canvas, or ironing board covers, in which a pattern is burned into the support with an old-fashioned flatiron. The rich, dark tones of the burnt patterns often resemble African textiles, and although they have a contemporary look, the scorch pieces inherently allude to African ritualistic beliefs and activities-such as scarification or fire myths-and to the role of domestic labor, such as ironing, in the African American experience. In some instances, like this example, the work is encased in an old window frame.