Sunday, 23 July 2017

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

© Wadsworth Jarrell 'Revolutionary 1972' Private Collection

On Saturday 22nd July, I took my family to the Tate Modern to see Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power. The show opens in 1963 when the Civil Rights Movement and its dreams of integration was at its heights. Artists responded to these times with their vibrant paintings, powerful murals, collage, photography, revolutionary clothing designs and sculptures made with Black hair, melted records, and tights.

Some engage with legendary figures from the period, with paintings in homage to political leaders Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and Angela Davis, musician John Coltrane and sporting hero Jack Johnson. Muhammad Ali appears in Andy Warhol's famous painting. This was a rare opportunity to see era-defining artworks that changed the face of art in America. 

It was my granddaughter's first visit to the Tate (and to an art museum) and she loved it. She will soon be 10 years old and she said going to this event made her feel 'all grown up.' 

My favourite pieces were the collages by Romare Bearden. It was startling to see the actual green front door of the Black Power Movement's offices covered in bullet holes! Striking photography included an image of just a noose hanging from a tree. Artifacts from lynchings were on display like something out of Medieval times.

Here are the artists:

The artists (71) 

There are 12 rooms holding the exhibition:

Room 1:  SPIRAL
Room 2:  ART ON THE STREETS
Room 3:  FIGURING BLACK POWER
Room 4:  LOS ANGELES ASSEMBLAGE
Room 5:  AFRICOBRA IN CHICAGO
Room 6:  THREE GRAPHIC ARTISTS, LOS ANGELES
Room 7:  EAST COAST ABSTRACTION
Room 8:  BLACK LIGHT
Room 9:  BLACK HEROES
Room 10:IMPROVISATION AND EXPERIMENTATION
Room 11:BETYE SAAR
Room 12:JUST ABOVE MIDTOWN

Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power runs 
from 12 July - 22 October 2017

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

© Wadsworth Jarrell 'Revolutionary 1972' Private Collection On Saturday 22nd July, I took my family to the Tate Modern to see  ...