A new exhibition is exploring art in the age of Black Power – Konbini – Konbini US

Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power is a ground-breaking exhibition at the Tate Modernin London, UK, which aimsto shine a spotlight on the work of black artists active inAmerica in the two decades after 1963.

Benny Anders, ‘Did the Bear Sit Under a Tree?’, (1969), Emmanuel Collection, Estate of Benny Andrews/DACS, London/VAGA, NY2017 (Photo: Tate Modern)

Spanning across12 rooms, the exhibition takes visitors from Chicago to Los Angeles, in a showcase ofthe work of artists using avariety of mediums to question what it means to be black in America. The show draws attention to the dilemmas facing Black artists at the time, said curators Zoe Whitely and Mark Godfrey:

“How should an artist respond to political and cultural changes? Was there a Black art or a Black aesthetic? Should an artist create legible images or make abstract work? []

The exhibition looks at responses to such questions with each room devoted to groups of artists in cities nationwide, or to different kinds of art. While showing strong communities and robust artistic dialogues, it also reveals necessary disagreements about what it meant to be a Black artist at this time.”

Frances Morris, the director of the Tate Modern, called the exhibition a “turning point” for the gallery. It comes as part of a wider effort to expand their collection and focus on artwork from areas of the world and movements that had previously been overlooked.

Emma Amos, ‘Eva the Babysitter’, (1973), Emma Amos. Courtesy of the artist and Ryan Lee Gallery, New York. Licensed by VAGA, New York (Photo: Tate Modern)

The artwork is thrilling in its breadth, and visually stunning: colorful murals, magazines, photographs, collages,paintings and sculptures by both lesser and well-known artists make up the collection.

Soul of a Nationis an embodiment ofthe spirit of the age, emerging from themidst of the Civil Rights era, the thrilling militancy of the Black Power movement, growing interactions with the black diaspora and streams of thoughtcoming out of newly independent African nations. Iconic Black figuressuch as Angela Davis, John Coltrane, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King feature prominently.

A number of events will be taking place alongsidewith the exhibition.Some of the best include a sold-out talk with director Spike Lee on July 12 about the art that influenced his career, an evening of art, debate and music co-hosted by AFROPUNK on July 20 and a discussion with award-winning poet Claudia Rankine on October 12.

Faith Ringgold, ‘American People Series #20: Die’ (1967), The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Purchase; and gift of the Modern Women’s Fund, Faith Ringgold (Photo: Tate Modern)

Betye Saar, ‘Rainbow Mojo’, (1972), Paul-Michael diMeglio, New York, Betye Saar. Courtesy of the Artist and Rober & Tilton, Los Angeles, California (Photo: Tate Modern)

Barkley L. Hendricks, ‘Icon for My Man Superman (Superman Never Saved any Black People – Bobby Seale)’ (1969), Collection of Liz and Eric Lefkofsky, Barkley L. Hendricks. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York (Photo: Tate Modern)

A playlist of songs about black empowerment was curated in response to the exhibition by Darcus Beese, the president of Island Records. Beese is the son of the British Black Panther activists Barbara Beese and Darcus Howe. Listen to the selected tracks below:

Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power is at Tate Modern in London from July 12 to October 22, 2017. The exhibition will move to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Arkansas, February 3 to April 23, 2018 and then toBrooklyn Museum, on September 7 till February 3, 2019

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A new exhibition is exploring art in the age of Black Power – Konbini – Konbini US

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July 13, 2017   Posted in: Black Power |

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