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Barkley Hendricks (American, 1945–2017). Blood (Donald Formey), 1975. Oil and acrylic on canvas, 72 x 501/2 in. (182.9 x 128.3 cm). Courtesy of Dr. Kenneth Montague | The Wedge Collection, Toronto. © Estate of Barkley L. Hendricks. Courtesy of the artist’s estate and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York. (Photo: Jonathan Dorado, Brooklyn Museum)


                          
                          Barkley Hendricks (American, 1945–2017). Blood (Donald Formey), 1975. Oil and acrylic on canvas, 72 x 501/2 in. (182.9 x 128.3 cm). Courtesy of Dr. Kenneth Montague | The Wedge Collection, Toronto. © Estate of Barkley L. Hendricks. Courtesy of the artist’s estate and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York. (Photo: Jonathan Dorado, Brooklyn Museum)

Barkley Hendricks (American, 1945–2017). Blood (Donald Formey), 1975. Oil and acrylic on canvas, 72 x 501/2 in. (182.9 x 128.3 cm). Courtesy of Dr. Kenneth Montague | The Wedge Collection, Toronto. © Estate of Barkley L. Hendricks. Courtesy of the artist’s estate and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York. (Photo: Jonathan Dorado, Brooklyn Museum)

<p>William T. Williams (American, born 1942). <em>Trane</em>, 1969. Acrylic on canvas, 108 x 84 in. (274.3 x 213.4 cm). The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York. © William T. Williams. Courtesy of Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC, New York</p>

William T. Williams (American, born 1942). Trane, 1969. Acrylic on canvas, 108 x 84 in. (274.3 x 213.4 cm). The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York. © William T. Williams. Courtesy of Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC, New York

<p>Carolyn Lawrence (American, born 1940). <em>Black Children Keep Your Spirits Free</em>, 1972. Acrylic on canvas, 48<sup>1</sup>/<sub>2</sub> x 50<sup>1</sup>/<sub>2</sub> x 5<sup>1</sup>/<sub>4</sub> in. (123 x 128 x 13.5 cm). Courtesy of the artist. © Carolyn Mims Lawrence. (Photo: Michael Tropea)</p>

Carolyn Lawrence (American, born 1940). Black Children Keep Your Spirits Free, 1972. Acrylic on canvas, 481/2 x 501/2 x 51/4 in. (123 x 128 x 13.5 cm). Courtesy of the artist. © Carolyn Mims Lawrence. (Photo: Michael Tropea)

<p>Faith Ringgold (American, born 1930). <em>United States of Attica</em>, 1972. Offset lithograph on paper, 21<sup>3</sup>/<sub>4</sub> x 27<sup>1</sup>/<sub>2</sub> in. (55.2 x 69.9 cm). © 2018 Courtesy ACA Galleries, New York. © 2018 Faith Ringgold, member Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York</p>

Faith Ringgold (American, born 1930). United States of Attica, 1972. Offset lithograph on paper, 213/4 x 271/2 in. (55.2 x 69.9 cm). © 2018 Courtesy ACA Galleries, New York. © 2018 Faith Ringgold, member Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

<p>Roy DeCarava (American, 1919–2009). <em>Couple Walking</em>, 1979. Gelatin silver print on paper, 11 x 14 in. (27.9 x 35.6 cm). Courtesy of Sherry Tuner DeCarava and the DeCarava Archives. © 2017 Estate of Roy DeCarava. All Rights Reserved</p>

Roy DeCarava (American, 1919–2009). Couple Walking, 1979. Gelatin silver print on paper, 11 x 14 in. (27.9 x 35.6 cm). Courtesy of Sherry Tuner DeCarava and the DeCarava Archives. © 2017 Estate of Roy DeCarava. All Rights Reserved

<p>Betye Saar (American, born 1926). <em>The Liberation of Aunt Jemima</em>, 1972. Wood, cotton, plastic, metal, acrylic, printed paper and fabric, 11<sup>3</sup>/<sub>4</sub> x 8 x 2<sup>3</sup>/<sub>4</sub> in. (29.8 x 20.3 x 7 cm). © Betye Saar. Collection of Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley, California; purchased with the aid of funds from the National Endowment for the Arts (selected by The Committee for the Acquisition of Afro-American Art). © Betye Saar. (Photo: Benjamin Blackwell. Courtesy of the artist and Roberts Projects, Los Angeles)</p>

Betye Saar (American, born 1926). The Liberation of Aunt Jemima, 1972. Wood, cotton, plastic, metal, acrylic, printed paper and fabric, 113/4 x 8 x 23/4 in. (29.8 x 20.3 x 7 cm). © Betye Saar. Collection of Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley, California; purchased with the aid of funds from the National Endowment for the Arts (selected by The Committee for the Acquisition of Afro-American Art). © Betye Saar. (Photo: Benjamin Blackwell. Courtesy of the artist and Roberts Projects, Los Angeles)

<p>Alma Thomas (American, 1891–1978). <em>Mars Dust</em>, 1972. Acrylic on canvas, 69<sup>1</sup>/<sub>4</sub> x 57<sup>1</sup>/<sub>8</sub> in. (175.9 x 145.1 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase, with funds from The Hament Corporation, 72.58. © Estate of Alma W. Thomas. (Digital image: © Whitney Museum, N.Y.)</p>

Alma Thomas (American, 1891–1978). Mars Dust, 1972. Acrylic on canvas, 691/4 x 571/8 in. (175.9 x 145.1 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase, with funds from The Hament Corporation, 72.58. © Estate of Alma W. Thomas. (Digital image: © Whitney Museum, N.Y.)

<p>Frank Bowling (American, born 1936). <em>Dan Johnson’s Surprise</em>, 1969. Acrylic on canvas, 116 x 104<sup>1</sup>/<sub>8</sub> in. (294.5 x 264.5 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase, with funds from the Friends of the Whitney Museum of American Art, 70.14. © Frank Bowling. Image courtesy of the artist and Hales Gallery. (Digital image: © Whitney Museum, N.Y.)</p>

Frank Bowling (American, born 1936). Dan Johnson’s Surprise, 1969. Acrylic on canvas, 116 x 1041/8 in. (294.5 x 264.5 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase, with funds from the Friends of the Whitney Museum of American Art, 70.14. © Frank Bowling. Image courtesy of the artist and Hales Gallery. (Digital image: © Whitney Museum, N.Y.)

<p>Ming Smith (American, born 1947). <em>When You See Me Comin' Raise Your Window High</em>, 1972. Vintage gelatin silver print, 11 x 14 in. (27.9 x 35.6 cm). Courtesy of the artist and Steven Kasher Gallery. © Ming Smith</p>

Ming Smith (American, born 1947). When You See Me Comin' Raise Your Window High, 1972. Vintage gelatin silver print, 11 x 14 in. (27.9 x 35.6 cm). Courtesy of the artist and Steven Kasher Gallery. © Ming Smith

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

September 14, 2018–February 3, 2019

Morris A. and Meyer Schapiro Wing, 4th and 5th Floors

Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power shines light on a broad spectrum of Black artistic practice from 1963 to 1983, one of the most politically, socially, and aesthetically revolutionary periods in American history. Black artists across the country worked in communities, in collectives, and individually to create a range of art responsive to the moment—including figurative and abstract painting, prints, and photography; assemblage and sculpture; and performance.

Many of the over 150 artworks in the exhibition directly address the unjust social conditions facing Black Americans, such as Faith Ringgold’s painting featuring a “bleeding” flag and Emory Douglas’s graphic images of beleaguered Black city life. Additional works present oblique references to racial violence, such as Jack Whitten’s abstract tribute to Malcolm X, made in response to the activist's assassination, or Melvin Edwards’s contorted metal sculptures. Working as a collective, members of the AfriCOBRA group presented images of uplift and empowerment. Barkley Hendricks, Emma Amos, and others painted everyday portraits of Black people with reverence and wit. All the artists embraced a spirit of aesthetic innovation, but some took this as their primary goal, often through experiments with color and paint application.

This exhibition brings together for the first time the excitingly disparate practices of more than sixty Black artists from this important moment, offering an unparalleled opportunity to see their extraordinary works side by side.

Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power is organized by Tate Modern in collaboration with the Brooklyn Museum and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas, and The Broad, Los Angeles, and curated by Mark Godfrey, Senior Curator, International Art, and Zoe Whitley, Curator, International Art, Tate Modern. The Brooklyn Museum presentation is curated by Ashley James, Assistant Curator, Contemporary Art, Brooklyn Museum.

Leadership support for this exhibition is provided by the Ford Foundation, the Terra Foundation for American Art, Universal Music Group, and the Henry Luce Foundation. Additional support is provided by the Brooklyn Museum's Contemporary Art Committee, the Arnold Lehman Exhibition Fund, Christie’s, Raymond Learsy, Saundra Williams-Cornwell and W. Don Cornwell, Crystal McCrary and Raymond J. McGuire, Megan and Hunter Gray, the Hayden Family Foundation, Carol Sutton Lewis and William Lewis, Valerie Gerrard Browne, Hales Gallery, Tracey and Phillip Riese, Connie Rogers Tilton, and Jack Shainman Gallery.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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