Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power 1963-1983
Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power shines a bright light on the vital contribution of Black artists made over two revolutionary decades in American history, beginning in 1963 at the height of the civil rights movement. The exhibition examines the influences, from the civil rights and Black Power movements to Minimalism and developments in abstraction, on artists such as Romare Bearden, Barkley Hendricks, Noah Purifoy, Martin Puryear, Faith Ringgold, Betye Saar, Alma Thomas, Charles White, and William T. Williams. Los Angeles-based artists appear throughout Soul of a Nation, and more deeply in three specific galleries, foregrounding the significant role of Los Angeles in the art and history of the civil rights movement and the subsequent activist era, and the critical influence and sustained originality of the city’s artists, many of whom have lacked wider recognition.
Featuring the work of more than 60 influential artists and including vibrant paintings, powerful sculptures, street photography, murals, and more, this landmark exhibition is a rare opportunity to see era-defining artworks that changed the face of art in America.
On Soul of a Nation's opening day, The Broad will present a day of enriching conversations, artist talks and poetry, organized by UC Irvine professors Bridget R. Cooks (associate professor, African American Studies and Art History) and Frank B. Wilderson III (chair of African American Studies). The event will include compelling conversations between artists featured in the exhibition, such as Jae and Wadsworth Jarrell and Gerald Williams with Vida L. Brown (visual arts curator, California African American Museum) and Mel Edwards with Dale Davis (artist and co-founder, Brockman Gallery), facilitated by Isabelle Lutterodt (director, Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery), as well as renowned art historians and curators like Thelma Golden (director and chief curator, The Studio Museum), Phyllis J. Jackson (associate professor, art history, Pomona College), Kellie Jones (professor, art history and archaeology and the Institute for Research in African American Studies, Columbia University), and Naima J. Keith (deputy director and chief curator, California African American Museum).
A reading will be given by distinguished poet Kamau Daáood, author of “The Language of Saxophones: Selected Poems of Kamau Daáood” and the critically acclaimed album, Leimert Park. Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation, will speak in conversation with Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Ava DuVernay.
Saturday, March 23, 2019 – 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in Aratani Theatre
Tickets include one-time, anytime access to Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power 1963-1983.
Image: Elizabeth Catlett, Black Unity, 1968 (detail). Cedar. 21 in. x 12 ½ in. x 23 in. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas, 2014.11. Photography by Edward C. Robinson III. Ⓒ Catlett Mora Family Trust/VAGA at ARS, NY.