Soul of a Nation (BOOK) Art in the Age of Black Power


    In the period of radical change that was 1963-1983, young Black artists at the beginning of their careers in the USA confronted key questions and pressures. How could they make art that would stand as innovative, original, formally and materially complex, while also making work that reflected their concerns and experience as African Americans? This significant new publication surveys this crucial period in American art history, bringing to light previously neglected histories of twentieth-century Black artists, including Frank Bowling, Sam Gilliam, Melvin Edwards, Bettye Saar, Jack Whitten and William T. Williams. It accompanies a major exhibition, opening at Tate Modern and touring to Crystal Bridges and Brooklyn Museum of Art.

    With substantial essays from co-curators Mark Godfrey and Zoe Whitley, writing on abstraction and figuration respectively, this book also explores the art historical and social contexts with subjects including black feminism; AfriCOBRA and other artist-run groups; the role of museums in the debates of the period; and where visual art sat in relation to the Black Arts Movement.

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