Black Art and Culture in the 20th Century | National Humanities Center

Work of the Fellows: Monographs

Black Art and Culture in the 20th Century

By Richard J. Powell (NHC Fellow, 1995–96)

African American Art; African Americans; Artists; African Diaspora; Racial Identity

New York: Thames and Hudson, 1997

From the publisher’s description:

The African diaspora — a direct result of the transatlantic slave trade and Western colonialism — has generated a wide array of artistic achievements in our century, from blues to reggae, from the paintings of Henry Ossawa Tanner to the video installations of Keith Piper. This brilliant new study of twentieth-century black art is the first to concentrate on the art works themselves and on how these works, created during a period of major social upheaval and transformation, use black culture both as subject and as contextual basis. From musings on "the souls of black folk" in turn-of-the-century painting, sculpture and photography, to questions of racial and cultural identities in performance, media and computer-assisted arts in the 1990s, it draws on the work of hundreds of artists including Jean-Michel Basquiat, Romare Bearden, Elizabeth Catlett, Lois Mailou Jones, Wifredo Lam, Jacob Lawrence, Spike Lee, Robert Mapplethorpe, Faith Ringgold and Gerard Sekoto; biographies of more than 160 key artists provide a unique and valuable art historical resource.

Art / African American Art / African Americans / Artists / African Diaspora / Racial Identity /

Powell, Richard J. (NHC Fellow, 1995–96). Black Art and Culture in the 20th Century. World of Art. New York: Thames and Hudson, 1997.