Revolutionary (Angela Davis)
Wadsworth A. Jarrell
Wadsworth Jarrell’s Revolutionary (Angela Davis) is one of the most recognized paintings associated with the Black Arts Movement, a cultural manifestation of the Black Power Movement. Artists of this movement sought to create uplifting images that called upon Black people to harness their collective power. The power of communal action is here expressed through a chromatic swirl of individual colors that coalesce into a unified image of the radical activist and intellectual Angela Davis. Davis’s militant clothing—complete with bullet cartridges—was modeled after the Revolutionary Suit designed by artist Jae Jarrell, Wadsworth’s wife. An icon of Black Power, Davis continues to lead the prison abolition movement today.
Acrylic and mixed media on canvas
Note attached to canvas of 2012.80.18, lower center, recto:
“This is a replica of a revolutionary suit designed by Jae Jarrell in early 1969 for Africobra. 1. This suit is designed to reflect the present struggle of black people in the U.S.A.
When Chuck jumps on and bastardize it as he does everything else we do, I want you to know he stole it from black giants - Africobra.
Everytime one of our sisters wear one of Chucks stolen designs, they are helping to advertise Africobra.
This suit is not for hunkies, strickly for black people in the present revolution, with a show of force for liberation”.
Gift of R.M. Atwater, Anna Wolfrom Dove, Alice Fiebiger, Joseph Fiebiger, Belle Campbell Harriss, and Emma L. Hyde, by exchange, Designated Purchase Fund, Mary Smith Dorward Fund, Dick S. Ramsay Fund, and Carll H. de Silver Fund
This item is not on view
Wadsworth A. Jarrell (American, born 1929). Revolutionary (Angela Davis), 1971. Acrylic and mixed media on canvas, 64 x 51 in. (162.6 x 129.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of R.M. Atwater, Anna Wolfrom Dove, Alice Fiebiger, Joseph Fiebiger, Belle Campbell Harriss, and Emma L. Hyde, by exchange, Designated Purchase Fund, Mary Smith Dorward Fund, Dick S. Ramsay Fund, and Carll H. de Silver Fund, 2012.80.18. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 2012.80.18_PS9.jpg)
overall, 2012.80.18_PS9.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2013
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© Wadsworth Jarrell
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