African American Artists

Nov 29, 2020Artwise Posters
African American Artists
FEBRUARY 1, 2018 

Welcome to February, and happy Black History Month— in the midst of a time when we get a chance to put a spotlight on some of the most charismatic and influential black Americans in our country’s history, taking a look at the visual artists who have helped to shape our collective imagery is a vital way to frame it in a context. These talented and inspired visionaries pave the way with their lush, emotional and powerful work, assembling a visual understanding of a complex, deep and ultimately beautiful experience of life.

Kerry James Marshall was born in Birmingham, Alabama and grew up in South Central Los Angeles where the Black Power and Civil Rights movements had a significant impact on his paintings. His work meanders through narratives of black everyday life, with an undercurrent juxtaposing elements of idealism with reality. While able to depict true stories and real people, he touches the inescapable presence of magic and the enigmatic style within his culture. This breathtaking and enormous signed etching Vignette (Wishing Well) fills the whole room with its music.

Vignette (Wishing Well) – Kerry James Marshall, 2010 SIGNED etching

Jacob Lawrence began his art practice at age 13 with a move to Harlem in New York City in 1930, a seed that led him to develop practices as a painter, storyteller, interpreter and educator. What started by way of copying the patterns of his mother's carpets evolved into a style he referred to as dynamic cubism, inspired by the shapes and colors of Harlem— a bold mix of the darkness of the Great Depression against the indelible heart of his vibrant community. Even the hand drawn typography in this signed 1968 Skowhegan School print displays the grace and grit of his distinctive energy.


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