BlackHead Lyricism “ denotes the presence of an element of Black joy and creativity that persists, even during uncertain political and social times. The word BlackHead, appears in many titles of works I’ve done over the past several years. He is mostly me – and others like me. It’s a non-figurative (signifying) way of animating my abstract art with references to a Black diasporic identity. It also allows generally, for a more nuanced and complex visual expression within contemporary art; a creative form and poetic counter to all the negativity and despair usually associated with historic Black life and experience – particularly in the last few years.”
--- Carl E. Hazlewood, 2022
Carl E. Hazlewood, was born in 1951 in Guyana, South America. He received a BFA with honors, from Pratt Institute, and an MA from Hunter College, CUNY. Parallel to his studio practice, Hazelwood co-founded Aljira, a Center for Contemporary Art in Newark, NJ in 1983. Recent honors include Fellowships and residencies from The Brown Foundation Fellows Program at the Dora Maar House, (administered by MFAH-The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston), Ménerbes, France, Summer & Winter 2018; The Bogliasco Foundation (Fellow) Liguria Study Center for the Arts & Humanities, Village of Bogliasco, Italy, Fall 2018; NARS Foundation; the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts; Headlands Center for the Arts; Yaddo; Vermont Studio Center; and the MacDowell Colony, among others.
A 2017 ‘Tree of Life’ award grantee, his fifty-two feet painting installation, ‘TRAVELER’, was commissioned by the Knockdown Center, Maspeth, Queens, in 2017. As a curator and writer, he is the associate editor for NKA: Journal of Contemporary African Art (Duke University), and “The Arts Journal: Critical Perspectives on Contemporary Literature, History, Art and Culture of Guyana and the Caribbean”, Georgetown, Guyana. He has written for many other periodicals, including Flash Art International, ART PAPERS Magazine, and NY Arts Magazine. Since 1984, he has organized numerous curatorial projects for a Aljira such as Modern Life (co-curated with Okwui Enwezor). His project on behalf of Aljira, “Current Identities, Recent Painting in the United States,” was the U.S. prize-winning presentation at the Bienal Internacional de Pintura, Cuenca, Ecuador, in 1994. It traveled for three years to eleven other countries and museums in Latin America. Hazlewood has organized exhibitions for the Nathan Cummings Foundation, New York; Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; Hallwalls, New York; Artists Space, New York; P.S. 122 New York; and, co-curated “Aljira at 30, Dreams and Reality’ for the New Jersey State Museum, Trenton (2014), among other venues. He has lectured in Art History at New Jersey City University, and was visiting artist/critic at various institutions, most recently, Ithaca College (2021), and Pratt Institute (2019). He’s written catalogues for The Krannert Art Museum, University of Illinois; The Cress Gallery of Art, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga; The Ben Shahn Center, William Paterson University, NJ; The New Jersey State Museum, Trenton, NJ, the Samuel Dorsky Museum book/catalogue, “Andrew Lyght - FULL CIRCLE” (2016), and Terry Adkins: RECITAL', Tang Museum, Skidmore University (2017), Saratoga, NY and others.
Hazlewood’s work has been seen in the EA/B, NADA, PRIZM, Volta, and Scope Art Fairs and June Kelly Gallery. BOMB Magazine, Hyperallergic, and the NY Times are among publications that have written about the artist. He was curatorial adviser for BRIC’s project: ‘The BRIC Biennial, Volume Two’, Brooklyn, NY, Fall 2016. Currently, Hazlewood is in a long-term residency at ART CAKE in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.