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African American art since 1950 from The David C. Driskell Center on view at the Taft Museum
Jacob Lawrence, Carpenters, silkscreen, 1977. David C. Driskell Center, University of Maryland, College Park.
CINCINNATI, OH.- African American Art Since 1950: Perspectives from The David C. Driskell Center is on view through April 21, 2013. Get a taste of the wide variety of contemporary art created by African American artists spanning six decades. These 55 pieces, including sculptures, paintings, prints, photographs, collages and mixed media pieces by 50 different artists, tell the stories of the American experience. The exhibition has varied themes, including: works featuring and inspired by music; history and memory-themed works, including challenging, intricate, and thoughtful pieces, like Tar Baby, by Vanessa German; and culminates with beautiful and meaningful abstract pieces, like Katrina, by Howardena Pindell, which commemorates the powerful hurricane that all Americans who were alive in this decade will never forget, and the more tranquil Pine Trees, by Dr. David Driskell, the show’s organizer.

Nearly thirty-five years ago, scholar, curator and artist David Driskell revealed the depth and breadth of African American art with a landmark 1976 exhibition, Two Centuries of Black American Art.

This exhibition on display now at the Taft provides a sequel, a broad survey of how this art has evolved since then. Well-known artists such as Faith Ringgold, Martin Puryear, and Sam Gilliam are joined by powerful younger talents including Kara Walker, Willie Cole, and Chakaia Booker. Artwork in a great variety of media presents a vivid sampling of the range of expression of these American voices.

The exhibition showcases the generation of artists who opened up the possibilities for African American art, from pursuing pure abstraction to providing a forum for art as political activism. The exhibition also presents the newest voices in African American art, which utilize a variety of media and offer a hybrid approach to cultural and social identity; it also highlights some artists for whom national and racial boundaries are not the primary focus of inspiration.

The Duncanson Murals at the Taft Museum of Art are a testament to the museum’s long-standing commitment to supporting African American artists. In this spirit, the Taft reaches out to the Tristate community by regularly presenting outstanding art by African Americans, past and present.

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African American art since 1950 from The David C. Driskell Center on view at the Taft Museum

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