Von Lintel Gallery is pleased to present Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song. Taking a cue from Melvin Van Peebles’ infamous 1971 film of the same name, this exhibition of fourteen African American artists is also a journey that examines the representation of African Americans in popular culture.
Afros, blackface, blinged-out slave ships and tinted sunglasses force viewers to reconsider not only their ideas about African American culture, but the “black artist” as well. Each artist takes a different approach—Renee Cox and Ifétayo Abdus-Salaam explore and question representation in American media, advertising and film; Lawrence Lee takes images of negative stereotypes and reclaims them; Barkley Hendricks and Mickalene Thomas choose to infuse an empowered, proud, dignified presence in their subjects while Titus Kaphar and Hank Willis Thomas address the idea of perception by recontextualizing the black figure.
Artists are Dawoud Bey, Radcliffe Bailey, Iona Rozeal Brown, Zoë Charlton, Renee Cox, Michael Paul Britto, Barkley Hendricks, Titus Kaphar, Lawrence Lee, Carrie Mae-Weems, Robert Pruitt, Ifétayo Abdus-Salam, Mickalene Thomas, and Hank Willis Thomas. Curated by Collette Blanchard, the exhibition spans over 35 years and several different mediums including photography, drawings, paintings, video and installation.