In balancing a range of art practices with socio-political realities, Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power 1963-1983 effectively demonstrates that there isn’t a Black art per se but rather a Black experience that informs what, how, and where Black artists present and re-present. The project also superbly presents the rich contributions of African American artists are an important and integral part of American Art, despite their often being underrepresented in art histories. While the catalog expands one’s understanding of the exhibition immeasurably, I was glad to have the opportunity to engage with the actual size works so as to optimally experience the interweaving of artistic insights and materials with concepts like Black Power, Black Pride and the array of social realities that informed the work (e.g., the Watts riots) . Still, the catalog is invaluable. Reading curator Mark Godfrey’s essay on Black abstraction in the publication before visiting the exhibition primed me to see the socio-political elements through the eyes of individual artists musing about material objects and black identify in tandem. In essence, his essay, co-curator Zoé Whitley’s essay, and the recollections from a number of people associated with this art in the documentation, all of whom were black participants, further underscored that there is a black American culture to celebrate, one that has thrived despite its peripheral place within institutions. Furthermore, the written material demonstrate the value of critically engaging with objects on a number of levels.
Presented by the Center for the History of Collecting, Frick Art Reference Library, The Frick Collection, NY
Thursday, May 23, 2019, 2 – 7 p.m.
This half-day symposium focuses on collecting site-specific, large-scale, and light-based works by artists including, among others, Walter de Maria, Nancy Holt, Robert Smithson, Michelle Stuart, and James Turrell. A panel of scholars, curators, collectors, an artist, and a conservator explores related challenges of installation, maintenance, preservation, and ultimate stewardship. Virginia Dwan, Suzaan Boettger, Jarl Mohn, Jessica Morgan, Leonard Riggio, and Michelle Stuart are among the participants. Sponsorship from the Robert H. Smith Family Foundation and Northern Trust has made this event possible.
April 25 – August 11, 2019
DePaul Art Museum
New Age, New Age: Strategies for Survival is an exhibition of work from the last fifteen years by contemporary artists who appropriate, critique, or embrace “New Age” aesthetics and concerns from a 21st century perspective. Emerging in the 1960s and 1970s against a backdrop of war, social strife and a crisis of modernity, the multifaceted New Age “movement” was characterized by alternative approaches to traditional Western culture, with an interest in spirituality, mysticism, holism, and environmentalism. It embodied a complicated conflation of politics, religion, science, social communities, art, music, and self-realization. Often dismissed for its association with drugged out hippies or flower-power children, how can New Age philosophies and practices be reconsidered today as relevant movement for social change and wellness?
Maikoiyo Alley-Barnes, Lise Haller Baggesen, Alun Be, Elijah Burgher, D. Denenge Duyst-Akpem, Whit Forrester, Desirée Holman, Cathy Hsiao, Michiko Itatani, Rashid Johnson, Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly, Jenny Kendler, Liz Magic Laser, Matt Morris, Shana Moulton, Heidi Norton, Tony Oursler, Mai-Thu Perret, Robert Pruitt, Bob Ross, Luis A. Sahagun, Mindy Rose Schwartz, Suzanne Treister, Rhonda Wheatley, Megan Whitmarsh and Jade Gordon, Saya Woolfalk
This interview with Janet Echelman is from the Washington Post’s series of conversations with artists about how they create. The interview includes images of her wonderfully crafted art. For those who don’t know her, her transformative public sculptures soar and ripple. For the past 20 years she has designed projects scaled to big city buildings made with braided fiber and projected light.
Here’s the link.
Recently, Sarah Lewis, a Harvard professor organized a two-day Vision and Justice conference on the role of the arts in relation to citizenship, race, and justice. As it turned out, she experienced some of this unconscious bias at this very event. Her essay exploring the relationship between racism and the camera, titled The Racial Bias Built Into Photography, was published by the New York Times on April 25, 2019.
At the conference, a technician categorizing light skin as the norm saw other skin tones as needing special corrective care. As Lewis, a black women, explains:
“My work looks at how the right to be recognized justly in a democracy has been tied to the impact of images and representation in the public realm. It examines how the construction of public pictures limits and enlarges our notion of who counts in American society. It is the subject of my core curriculum class at Harvard University. It also happened to be the subject of my presentation that day.”
What stands out in her article is how she interweaves a personal example of the how unconscious bias is built into photography, (and I would add life itself) into the larger culture. In a nut shell, she asks: “What is preventing us from correcting the inherited bias in camera and film technology?” Continue reading “Vision and Justice: The Racial Bias Built Into Photography”
CALL FOR PROPOSALS:
Submission Deadline: Monday, June 3, 2019
The Newberry Seminar in American Art and Visual Culture is open to those working in the art history and visual culture of the United States, from the colonial era to the present. They are inviting papers that cross and challenge borders both within and outside the discipline that engage questions of methodology and ideology, examine exhibition and provenance history, probe the categories of race, ethnicity, class, and gender, and reflect critically on the state and outlook of the field.
They also welcome topics focusing on Chicago art and design within the larger national and international contexts, such as: thematic studies on world’s fairs, Chicago’s Gilded Age, institutional/private/corporate display practices, urban landscapes, African-American art past and present, and self-taught artists.
Reviewed by Amy Ione, The Diatrope Institute, Berkeley, CA 94704 USA
Ironically, as I was wondering where to begin this review today, I noticed a car with two bumper stickers matching the sentiments I was tossing around in my mind. One read: “Hate is easy. Love takes courage.” The other said: “Got Constitution?” Both relate to the details of the Loving case, in which the United States Supreme Court legalized interracial marriage [or, held laws against interracial marriage to be unconstitutional, (prompted by a suit brought against the Commonwealth of Virginia by Richard and Mildred Loving)]. The Lovings, the key figures in this case, are captured in The Loving Story video, a film produced by Nancy Buirski and Elisabeth Haviland James and available through Icarus Films.
Married in Washington, D.C. on June 2, 1958, Richard Loving and Mildred Jeter returned home to Virginia where their marriage was declared illegal because he was white and she was black and Native American. At that time, anti-miscegenation laws – laws against interracial marriage – existed in 16 states. These kinds of laws are a typical consequence of states rights in the United States, a mechanism that allows different geographical areas to reflect the mores (and biases) of specific parts of the country.
El Arte de los Huicholes: The Peter Young Collection. San Francisco: Galeria dela Raza, 1975. Unmarked text. Line on Cover. Very Good. Booklet (Saddle Stitched). (#30487) $15.00
(Out of Stock)
Booklet accompanied 2 part exhibition: Parte I, Nearika, del 23 de agoto al 12 de octubre 1975. Parte II, Arte Ceremonial del 31 de enero al 14 de marzo 1976.
Text in Spanish and English.
Illustrated throughout. 16p.