Timothy Washington's Exuberant Bodies

Timothy Washington in his studio, photographed by Sam Frost.


Timothy Washington grew up climbing Simon Rodia's Watts Towers, handmade monumental structures reaching towards the sky and adorned with embedded detritus. The Los Angeles artist attended the Chouinard Art Institute alongside David Hammons, where Charles White was among his instructors. As a young man, Washington was included alongside Hammons and White in the 1971 exhibition Three Graphic Artists at the Los Angeles County Museum of Arts, the institution's first survey devoted to black artists. 


More recently, Washington has been celebrated for his totemic and often brightly colored works of assemblage. In 2014, the Craft Contemporary (formerly the Craft & Folk Art Museum) hosted the first solo museum exhibition of Washington's works, Love Thy Neighbor, which emphasized Washington's consideration of the human form as well as his embrace of unorthodox materials. Washington debuted his first installation, Citizen/Ship, at the California African American Museum in 2019 and continues to be recognized as a major contributor to art in Los Angeles and beyond.