Published by Gregory R. Miller & Co.. Text by Hilton Als, James Hannaham, Christopher Stackhouse, Kevin Young.
African-American artist Kara Walker (born 1969) has been acclaimed internationally for her candid investigations of race, sexuality and violence through the lens of reconceived historical tropes. She had her first solo show at The Drawing Center in New York City in 1994 and, at the age of 28 in 1997, was one of the youngest people to receive a MacArthur Fellowship. This publication documents Dust Jackets for the Niggerati--and Supporting Dissertations, Drawings Submitted Ruefully by Dr. Kara E. Walker, a major series of graphite drawings and hand-printed texts on paper that grew out of Walker’s attempts to understand how interpersonal and geopolitical powers are asserted through the lives of individuals. In scenes that range from the grotesque to the humorous to the tragic, these works vividly and powerfully explore the themes of transition and migration that run through the African-American experience. The accompanying essays take us through Walker’s saga of American experience--the dual streams of renewal and destruction that trace parallel lines through the last century’s rapid urbanization and the complementary emergence of a “New Negro” identity. Fully illustrated with reproductions of the entire series, and designed by award-winning design studio CoMa with Walker’s close collaboration, Dust Jackets for the Niggerati represents a major contribution to the career of one of our most significant and complex contemporary artists.
Art by African Americans in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Published by MFA Publications. Edited with text by Lowery Stokes Sims. Text by Dennis Carr, Janet L. Comey, Elliot Bostwick Davis, Aiden Faust, Nonie Gadsden, Edmund Barry Gaither, Karen Haas, Erica E. Hirshler, Kelly Hays L'Ecuyer, Taylor L. Poulin, Karen Quinn.
The story of African Americans in the visual arts has closely paralleled their social, political and economic aspirations over the last 400 years. From enslaved craftspersons to contemporary painters, printmakers and sculptors, African American artists have created a wealth of artistic expression that addresses common experiences, such as exclusion from dominant cultural institutions, and confronts questions of identity and community. This generously illustrated volume gathers more than 100 works of art in a variety of media by leading figures from the nineteenth century to the present—among them, Henry Ossawa Tanner, Jacob Lawrence, Romare Bearden, Lois Mailou Jones, Gordon Parks, Wifredo Lam, Kara Walker, Glenn Ligon and Kerry James Marshall—alongside many others who deserve to be better known, including artists from the African diaspora in South America and the Caribbean. Arranged thematically and featuring authoritative texts that provide historical and interpretive context, Common Wealth invites readers to share in a rich outpouring of art that meets shared challenges with individual creative responses.
Unique African American Dolls, 1850–1930 From the Collection of Deborah Neff
Published by Radius Books/Mingei International Museum. Edited by Frank Maresca. Text by Margo Jefferson, Faith Ringgold, Lyle Rexer.
This book presents over 100 unique handmade African American dolls made between 1850 and 1930 from the collection of Deborah Neff, a Connecticut-based collector and champion of vernacular art. It is believed that African Americans created these dolls for the children in their lives, including members of their own families and respective communities as well as white children in their charge. Acquired over the last 25 years, this renowned collection is considered to be one of the finest of its kind ever to be assembled. The dolls portray faithful yet stylized representations of young and old African Americans—playful boys and girls, well-dressed gentlemen, elegant young ladies, and distinguished older men and women. Made with scraps of cloth, ribbon and lace, or old socks, and stuffed with wool or cotton, these unusual dolls are charming and full of emotional spirit. Their faces are embroidered, stitched and painted to express a variety of emotions, each representing a fascinating story of culture and identity in American history. The book also features an assortment of rare vintage photographs from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, showing both black and white children holding, posing or playing with their dolls. After five years of combing the archives of museums, historical societies and private collections, the research done for this volume uncovered fascinating vernacular photographs of African American children holding white dolls and Caucasian children holding black dolls—but there was not a single image of an African American person holding a black doll. This complex combination of text and imagery has helped transform this book into a commentary about social mobility and racial identity conveyed through the untold story of these dolls. In an essay, renowned artist Faith Ringgold addresses the inherent prejudices of this work as well as her personal connection with the medium. Also included are essays by Pulitzer Prize–winning critic Margo Jefferson and writer Lyle Rexer.
Published by Reel Art Press. Edited by John Duke Kisch, Tony Nourmand. Foreword by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Text by John Duke Kisch, Peter Doggett. Afterword by Spike Lee.
This magnificent volume is a celebration of the first 100 years of black film poster art. A visual feast, these images recount the diverse and historic journey of the black film industry from the earliest days of Hollywood to the present day, accompanied by insightful accompanying text, a foreword by black history authority and renowned academic Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and an afterword by Hollywood director Spike Lee. These posters have meaning for young and old alike, and possess the power to transcend ethnicity. They capture the spirit and energy of an earlier time, reminding people of the pioneers of the past, those courageous and daring African American filmmakers, entertainers and artists whose dreams and struggles paved the way for future generations. The wealth of imagery on these pages is taken from the Separate Cinema Archive, maintained by archive director John Kisch. The most extensive private holdings of African-American film memorabilia in the world, it contains over 35,000 authentic movie posters and photographs from over 30 countries. This stunning coffee table book represents some of the archive's greatest highlights.
Published by Steidl. Foreword by Peter W. Kunhardt, Jr., Brett Abbott. Introduction by Charlayne Hunter-Gault. Text by Maurice Berger.
In September 1956, Life magazine published a photo-essay by Gordon Parks entitled "The Restraints: Open and Hidden," which documented the everyday activities and rituals of one extended African American family living in the rural South under Jim Crow segregation. One of the most powerful photographs depicts Joanne Thornton Wilson and her niece, Shirley Anne Kirksey, standing in front of a theater in Mobile, Alabama, an image which became a forceful "weapon of choice," as Parks would say, in the struggle against racism and segregation. While 26 photographs were eventually published in Life and some were exhibited in his lifetime, the bulk of Parks' assignment was thought to be lost. In 2011, five years after Parks' death, The Gordon Parks Foundation discovered more than 70 color transparencies at the bottom of an old storage bin marked "Segregation Series" that are now published for the first time in Segregation Story.
Seydou Keïta was born in Bamako, Mali in 1921, then part of the colony of French Sudan and a bustling transportation hub on the route to Dakar. With a Kodak Brownie given to him by his uncle, Keïta took up photography at the age of 14, going on to establish what would become Bamako's most successful portraiture enterprise of the 1950s and 60s. Photographs, Bamako, Mali 1949–1970 draws on an expanded archive to offer over 400 portraits, mostly unpublished, from the height of the photographer's productivity in downtown Bamako. Providing lushly patterned backdrops and props that now serve to date distinct periods in his career, the artist often styled his subjects but also encouraged their active participation, hanging sample portraits around the studio as inspiration. Migratory youth, government officials, shop owners and Bamako's cultural elite all make appearances here, and while Keïta's photographs served as both family record and cultural status symbol for the clients who commissioned them, these images have become a lasting visual record of Mali at that time. Seydou Keïta's work made its first international appearance in 1991 and has been exhibited extensively across Europe, Japan and the United States.
Published by DC Moore Gallery. Foreword by David C. Driskell. Text by Patricia Hills.
One of the most prominent American painters of the twentieth century, Jacob Lawrence (1917-2000) worked in a highly personal manner, creating Modernist views of everyday life as well as epic narratives of American history and historical figures. His work is direct and forceful, in keeping with his lifelong conviction that art could effect social change. At the same time, it is essentially humanistic, exploring the many challenges of African-American life as a means of addressing the universality of the human experience. Jacob Lawrence: Moving Forward, Paintings 1936-1999 celebrates the artist's long and productive career spanning more than 60 years. Beginning with lively street scenes of 1930s Harlem, when the young painter was establishing his artistic viewpoint, it highlights important examples from every decade of his working life, including a tribute to Jackie Robinson--the first African-American to play in the major leagues--and the powerful Hiroshima series, done for a reissue of John Hersey's well-known book on the horrific event. This survey concludes with some of Lawrence's final narratives of labor and leisure in his Builders and Games series of the 1990s. In addition to 58 images of the artist's work, this volume features an appreciation by David C. Driskell, noted artist, curator and art historian, who was a friend of Lawrence's for many decades, and an insightful overview of Lawrence's life and art by Patricia Hills, the distinguished scholar of American art.
Published by Steidl/The Gordon Parks Foundation/C/O Berlin. Edited with text by Peter W. Kunhardt, Jr., Felix Hoffman.
Injustice, violence, the Civil Rights Movement, fashion and the arts--Gordon Parks captured half a century of the vast changes to the American cultural landscape in his multifaceted career. I Am You: Selected Works 1934–1978 reveals the breadth of his work as the first African American photographer for Vogue and Life magazines as well as a filmmaker and writer.
Reportage for major magazines dominated Parks’ work from 1948 to 1972. He chronicled black America’s struggle for equality, exposing the harsh realities of life in Harlem, institutionalized racism and shocking poverty. Parks was equally accomplished as a portraitist, capturing figures such as Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Duke Ellington and Ingrid Bergman. He turned his attention to film in the 1960s with social documentaries, as well as the cult classic Shaft (1971).
This volume traces all the threads of Parks’ achievement, examining the interaction between his photographic and filmic visions.
Gordon Parks (1912–2006) was born in Fort Scott, Kansas. He worked as a brothel pianist and railcar porter, among other jobs, before buying a camera at a pawnshop, training himself, and becoming a photographer. In addition to his tenures photographing for the Farm Security Administration (1941–45) and Life (1948–72), Parks evolved into a modern-day Renaissance man, finding success as a film director, writer and composer. He wrote numerous memoirs, novels and poetry, and received many awards, including the National Medal of Arts and more than 50 honorary degrees.
Images of a Revolution: Radical Jazz in the USA 1960-75
Published by Soul Jazz Books. Edited by Stuart Baker.
At the start of the 1960s, jazz entered a unique period of revolution as African-American musicians redefined the art form in the context of the Civil Rights Movement, Afro-centric rhythm and thought and an ideology of black economic empowerment. John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, Sun Ra, Pharoah Sanders, Albert Ayler and others developed a new cosmology of sound that was as revolutionary as the social and political changes that took place in America throughout the decade. From the musical explorations of John Coltrane, Cecil Taylor and Ornette Coleman to the collective and community concerns of Chciago’s Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians and the black science fiction of Sun Ra, the new jazz musicians created a musical and cultural landscape from which jazz never looked back. This large-format deluxe hardback book features hundreds of stunning photographs of the new jazz musicians in the USA throughout the 1960s, presented with an introductory essay and biographies on the many artists included in the book.