Friday, September 24, 2010

Black Art Project (BAP) Booklist 2

This is a continuation of the inaugural Black Art Project (BAP) Booklist that was published on June 9, 2010. This continuing feature from BAP highlights recently published books that have an African American art focus. As stated in the earlier release, identifying titles as they are recently published or in pre-publication status is crucial for those building a library that has some focus on African American art because of the small print runs in which these titles are published. 

  • African-American Fine Art (Public Auction 2224, October 7). New York: Swann Auction Galleries, 2010.
This sale includes 140 lots of works in  various media from many sought-after African-American artists, ranging from rare early 20th Century paintings and sculptures through desirable contemporary pieces, including fine photographs. A short role call of artists included are as follows: Augusta Savage, Sargent Claude Johnson, William Edmondson, Charles Alston, Robert Savon Pious, Beauford Delaney, Bob Thompson, Al Loving, Norman Lewis, Hale Woodruff, Dox Thrash, William H. Johnson, Robert Colescott, David Hammons, John Biggers, William H. Johnson, Allan Rohan Crite, Romare Bearden, Jacob Lawrence, Alma Thomas, Elizabeth Catlett, Lois Mailou Jones, Arthur P. Bedou, Chester Higgins, Jr., Dawoud Bey, and others. View the online catalogue.

  • Barson, Tanya and Peter Gorschlüter (editors). Afro Modern: Journeys through the Black Atlantic. London: Tate Liverspool in association with Tate Publishing, New York, 2010.

Afro Modern: Journeys through the Black Atlantic is an exhibition that explored the impact of different black cultures from around the Atlantic on art from the early twentieth-century to today. This catalogue accompanied the exhibition. Taking its inspiration from Paul Gilroy's 1993 influential book, The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness, the exhibition featured over 140 works by more than 60 artists. Gilroy used the term The Black Atlantic "to describe the transmission of black cultures around the Atlantic, and the instances of cultural hybridity, that occurred as a result of transatlantic slavery and its legacy." Divided into seven chronological sections, the exhibition, charted "new forms of art arising from black culture and the work of black artists and intellectuals, it opens up an alternative, transatlantic reading of modernism and contemporary culture." The exhibition was on view at the Tate Liverpool (UK) from January 29 - April 25, 2010.

  • de Chassey, Eric, I Mutanti- Ellen Gallagher. Roma, Italy: Drago (SCB Distributors, North America), 2010.
I Mutanti is the exhibition catalogue for the Villa Medici exhibition of the same title. The catalog is made up of five volumes that correspond to the five artists participating in the show, representing some of the most controversial and thought-provoking artists of the 21st century. This 56-page volume features Ellen Gallagher and includes a "montage of over 25 full color images prepared by Gallagher and texts in three languages (French, Italian, and English) by Villa Medici director, Eric de Chassey. To view sample pages of images from the catalogue, visit Drago.

  • Garcia, Miki, Sanford Biggers: Moon Medicine. Santa Barbara: Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum, 2010.

This catalogue was produced in conjunction with the exhibition Sanford Biggers: Moon Medicine and is the first publication entirely dedicated to his practice despite showing internationally and being the recipient of numerous awards, fellowships, and residencies. With this exhibition and the accompanying catalogue, the Contemporary Arts Forum (CAF) succeeds in its mission "to support the most compelling artists of our time and to bring world-class programming to the Tri-Counties." The exhibition was featured at CAF from March 6 - May 2, 2010.

  • Gooding, Mel. Frank Bowling O.B.E., RA: Paintings 1974-2010. New York: Spanierman Modern.
This thirty-two-page catalogue with eleven full-page color plates, and color illustrations of the remaining works in the show accompanied an exhibition with the same title at Spanierman Modern. The exhibition is on view through October 16, 2010; to view the online exhibit, follow this link: Frank Bowling. The exhibition presents "twenty-three richly textured canvases in the abstract expressionist and color field mode by the first black artist in history to be elected to the Royal Academy, London. Born in British Guyana, Bowling studied in London, lived for ten years in New York, and now divides his time between the two cities. Honored in 2008 with the Order of the British Empire (O.B.E.) for his service to art, Bowling has an international standing for his dedication to the modernist tradition."  

  • Pegg, Thom. The Parkway Collection of Important 20th Century African-American Works of Art. Kansas City, Missouri: Parkway Galleries, LTD.
The Parkway Collection of Important 20th Century African-American Works of Art is presented through two gallery venues: Tyler Fine Art in St. Louis, Missouri and Ward and Ward Fine Art in Kansas City, Missouri. Many of the works in this exhibition were produced at the height of the artists' critical period of recognition.

As mentioned in the catalogue, accompanying The Parkway Collection... exhibition, "African-American art is at once both a subset of American art and an unprecedented blend of African and European influences: a new and uniquely American genre. It is a tremendous body of work that has been, for the most part, overlooked by collectors and museums alike for the first ninety years of the 20th century. There have been exceptions, and these individuals and institutions have enjoyed the freedom of assembling remarkable collections with very little competition." See the The Parkway Collection at  Tyler Fine Art in St. Louis through September 28, 2010.  

  • Schwab, Tess Sol and John Paul Driscoll. African Americans; Seeing and Seen, 1766 - 1916. New York: Babcock Galleries, 2010.  

African Americans: Seeing and Seen, 1766 – 1916 is a 48 page catalogue that accompanied an exhibition, sharing the same title which was held at Babcock Galleries (New York from January 21 - April 2, 2010). The exhibition has been defined as “an incisive overview of refined and controversial fine art and popular culture images of African Americans as artists and subjects. Bitter brutality and cruel caricature alternate with respectful revelations and positive portrayals of the status of African Americans. It may be said that all portrayals become betrayals in revealing the motivations and prejudices of their creator, and the images in this exhibition offer telling insights into the prevailing notions of the period. Each work is not only a signpost of the complex nature of our cultural forebearers, but also a harbinger of the ongoing struggle for equal rights in the United States.”

  • Willis, Deborah (editor). Black Venus 2010: They Called Her "Hottenot". Philadelphia: Temple University, 2010.

Black Venus 2010 is an important book highlighting a revised visual history of black women in America and throughout the African diaspora. "As a young South African woman of about twenty, Saartjie Baartman, the so-called ‘Hottenot Venus,’ was brought to London and placed on exhibit in 1810. Clad in the Victorian equivalent of a body stocking, and paraded through the streets and on stage in a cage she became a human spectacle in London and Paris. Baartman’s distinctive physique became the object of ridicule, curiosity, scientific inquiry, and desire until and after her premature death. The figure of Sarah Baartman was reduced to her sexual parts."

An impressive list of cross-disciplinary contributors (approximately 40) present  wide-ranging essays, poems, and images that "grapple with the enduring legacy of this young African woman (Saartjie Baartman) who forever remains a touchstone for black women.

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