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Black Artists in 20th Century, Modern & Contemporary Fine Art

Exploring themes of race, ancestry and migration, Atlanta-born mixed media artist Radcliffe Bailey layers found materials and objects from his past to create his textural compositions. Bailey’s work references traditional African sculpture, tintypes of his family members and imagery of cultural significance in his quest to explore the collective consciousness of the African diaspora and the Black American identities created by migration. A fine example of Bailey’s work is Grace, from 1995, which incorporates African imagery, photography and mixed media.

Romaire Bearden’s iconic Jazz Series, from 1979, highlights imagery from the golden age of jazz and Bearden’s love of music. Bearden once lived in an apartment above the Apollo Theatre in Harlem and was able to hear the music coming from below as he worked. Jazz is a recurrent theme throughout Bearden’s work and a reflection on his love of jazz and its African American heritage.

George Afedzi Hughes is a Ghanaian-born artist who incorporates painting, poetry and performance art in his practice. Hughes’ work explores the history of colonialism to draw parallels between that violent history and current global conflicts. By addressing the historical narrative of colonialism, Hughes brings awareness to the human atrocities that were committed and highlights the conflict between history and the journey to resolution.

Recognized for his portraits of Black subjects, Kerry James Marshall interrogates Western art history, forcing us to recognize what has been omitted. Marshall’s work often references his own personal history as well as recurring themes of the Black American experience, past and present, through the lens of the daily lives of Black Americans. His screenprint titled  May 15, 2001 highlights the discrepancy between white and Black artists in the art market and references the African American experience and the traditions of art history.

Time & Location

20th Century, Modern & Contemporary Fine Art on November 17 at 11am

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