Iris Kensmil - Angela Davis #2

Angela Davis #2 by Iris Kensmil     Portrait of Angela Davis by Iris Kensmil     Photo: Peter Cox

"I deliberately use a European way of painting with light touches. This provides a certain presence to those I portray and with which I want to respectfully emphasise their importance." - Iris Kensmil

Emancipation movement

Iris Kensmil portrays individuals who play an important role in the black emancipation movement. This painting shows Angela Davis, an American philosopher, activist and author. Davis is fundamental to the African-American civil rights movement and feminism in the United States.


Striking about this work is the activist's impressive hair; it takes up more than half of the canvas. The hairdo shows similarities to a halo and the way saints are depicted.

See and feel

In the collection display Delinking and Relinking, you will see other artworks by this Dutch artist with Surinamese roots. All of them depict people of colour, such as Octavia Butler and Marcus Garvey. The exhibition also presents tactile replicas of these works: embossed copies that allow blind and visually impaired visitors to 'see' these paintings by touching.


Van Abbemuseum

Stratumsedijk 2
5611 ND Eindhoven
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