I Live on Paul Russell Road
Over three generations of Zoë Charlton’s family lived at 1571 Paul Russell Road on 9 acres of land. The pale blue, wooden house and surrounding acreage became a symbol of home, a meetinghouse, and a vacation spot for a constant stream of relatives and family friends. In the early ’40s, home ownership was a rare occurrence for Black families. The property is no longer in the family, but is now the site of a gated suburban subdivision. In I Live on Paul Russell Road, Charlton recreates the homestead from memory turned on its roof, exposing its contents of ranch houses and bungalows, symbolizing the shift in property ownership from a single family to a housing estate.
Zoë Charlton creates drawings that explore the ironies of contemporary social and cultural stereotypes. She depicts her subject’s relationship with their world by combining images of culturally loaded objects and landscapes with undressed bodies. She received her MFA degree from the University of Texas at Austin Her work has been included in national and international exhibitions including the Harvey B. Gantt Center, Charlotte, NC, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR; Studio Museum of Harlem NYC, NY; Contemporary Art Museum, Houston, TX; the Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, Poland and Haas & Fischer Gallery, Zurich, Switzerland. She is a recipient of a Pollock-Krasner grant. Charlton is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Art at American University in Washington, DC.