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Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power

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9781942884170: Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power
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African American art in the era of Malcolm X and the Black Panthers

In the period of radical change that was 1963–83, young black artists at the beginning of their careers confronted difficult questions about art, politics and racial identity. How to make art that would stand as innovative, original, formally and materially complex, while also making work that reflected their concerns and experience as black Americans?

Soul of a Nation surveys this crucial period in American art history, bringing to light previously neglected histories of 20th-century black artists, including Sam Gilliam, Melvin Edwards, Jack Whitten, William T. Williams, Howardina Pindell, Romare Bearden, David Hammons, Barkley L. Hendricks, Senga Nengudi, Noah Purifoy, Faith Ringgold, Betye Saar, Charles White and Frank Bowling.

The book features substantial essays from Mark Godfrey and Zoe Whitley, writing on abstraction and figuration, respectively. It also explores the art-historical and social contexts with subjects ranging from black feminism, AfriCOBRA and other artist-run groups to the role of museums in the debates of the period and visual art’s relation to the Black Arts Movement. Over 170 artworks by these and many other artists of the era are illustrated in full color.

2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the first use of the term “black power” by student activist Stokely Carmichael; it will also be 50 years since the US Supreme Court overturned the prohibition of interracial marriage. At this turning point in the reassessment of African American art history, Soul of a Nation is a vital contribution to this timely subject.

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About the Author:

Mark Godfrey is Senior Curator, International Art (Europe and Americas) at Tate Modern Zoe Whitley is Adjunct Research Curator, Tate Modern

Review:

Soul of Nation captures a shift in how black people used art in the fight for liberation. Artists were no longer satisfied with pain being seen; they wanted it to be felt. (Andr Wheeler The Guardian)

The Aspirations of a Generation of Black Artists Visualized in Soul of a Nation. (Daniel Gerwin Hyperallergic)

Learn about the artists who didn’t leave the same legendary mark as Jean-Michel Basquiat, but who made an impact on black feminism, AfriCOBRA, and other artist-run groups. Delve deep into the role of museums in the debates of the period, and visual art’s relation to the Black Arts Movement. (Natasha Gural Forbes)

Soul of a Nation is a must-read for anyone interested in the history of American art and the importance of black artists in that history. The book is both a record and a revelation, making the presence of African-American artists acutely visible in tandem with the radical changes that occurred in art and politics from the 1960s to the 1980s. (Andria Hickey New York Magazine)

[A] big, beautiful, passionate show of art. (Holland Cotter New York Times)

More than 60 [black artists] appear in this big, beautiful, passionate show of art that functioned as seismic detector, political persuader and defensive weapon. (Holland Cotter The New York Times)

...a deeply wonderful, playful, and moving collection of images and text that prove her achievement of something seemingly impossible: photographing the invisible. (Elle)

Each piece in the exhibit is not so much a representation of the movement as they are physical artifacts of the revolution itself. (Taylor Hosking Vice)

It’s black and it’s beautiful. (Alexandra Simon Brooklyn Daily)

Groundbreaking. (Victoria L. Valentine Culture Type)

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Book Description Hardcover. Condition: new. Hardcover. African American art in the era of Malcolm X and the Black Panthers In the period of radical change that was 1963-83, young black artists at the beginning of their careers confronted difficult questions about art, politics and racial identity. How to make art that would stand as innovative, original, formally and materially complex, while also making work that reflected their concerns and experience as black Americans? Soul of a Nation surveys this crucial period in American art history, bringing to light previously neglected histories of 20th-century black artists, including Sam Gilliam, Melvin Edwards, Jack Whitten, William T. Williams, Howardina Pindell, Romare Bearden, David Hammons, Barkley L. Hendricks, Senga Nengudi, Noah Purifoy, Faith Ringgold, Betye Saar, Charles White and Frank Bowling. The book features substantial essays from Mark Godfrey and Zoe Whitley, writing on abstraction and figuration, respectively. It also explores the art-historical and social contexts with subjects ranging from black feminism, AfriCOBRA and other artist-run groups to the role of museums in the debates of the period and visual art's relation to the Black Arts Movement. Over 170 artworks by these and many other artists of the era are illustrated in full color. 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the first use of the term "black power" by student activist Stokely Carmichael; it will also be 50 years since the US Supreme Court overturned the prohibition of interracial marriage. At this turning point in the reassessment of African American art history, Soul of a Nation is a vital contribution to this timely subject. Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. Seller Inventory # 9781942884170

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