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STAFF PICKS | FROM THE SHELVES

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AVERY LOZADA | DATE 9/14/2018

Celebrating Soul of a Nation

Howardena Pindell: Paintings, 1974-1980Garth Greenan Gallery
Charles White: Black PopeThe Museum of Modern Art, New York
Soul of a NationD.A.P./Tate
Roy DeCarava and Langston Hughes: The Sweet Flypaper of LifeFirst Print Press
Jack Whitten: OdysseyGregory R. Miller & Co.
Alice Neel: UptownDavid Zwirner Books/Victoria Miro
Four Generations: The Joyner Giuffrida Collection of Abstract ArtGregory R. Miller & Co.
Common WealthMFA Publications
Beyond Mammy, Jezebel & SapphireJordan Schnitzer Family Foundation
David Hammons Is on Our MindCCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts

Howardena Pindell: Paintings, 1974-1980Howardena Pindell: Paintings, 1974-1980

Published by Garth Greenan Gallery.
Text by Barry Schwabsky.

This publication provides an overview of Howardena Pindell's (born 1943) work from 1974 to 1980, an incredibly innovative period in which she began cutting the canvas in strips and sewing them back together, then building up the surface in elaborate stages. By the late 1970s, sequins, string, hair and even perfume had become a part of her painting.

PUBLISHER
Garth Greenan Gallery

BOOK FORMAT
Hardcover, 8.75 x 10.25 in. / 64 pgs / 40 color / 1 bw.

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Catalog: SPRING 2015 p. 187   

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Charles White: Black PopeCharles White: Black Pope

Published by The Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Text by Esther Adler.

The Chicago-born artist Charles White (1918–79) was celebrated during his lifetime for depictions of African-American men, women and children that acquired the name “images of dignity. White’s draftsmanship, his direct address of the social and political concerns of his time, and his commitment to media that gave his art wide circulation established him as a major artist, and one with significant influence both on his contemporaries and on later generations.
Beginning with White’s early days as an artist in the Chicago of the 1930s and ’40s, moving through his time spent developing his craft in New York in the late 1940s and ’50s, and closing with his final decades as a revered figure in Los Angeles, Charles White: Black Pope explores the artist’s practice and strategies through consideration of key works. It devotes particularly close examination to his late masterwork "Black Pope (Sandwich Board Man)," in the collection of The Museum of Modern Art. By creating visually compelling, ideologically complex works that engage audiences on many levels, White established himself as a key figure of his time, one whose work continues to resonate today.

PUBLISHER
The Museum of Modern Art, New York

BOOK FORMAT
Hardcover, 9 x 10.5 in. / 72 pgs / 35 color.

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Soul of a NationSoul of a Nation

Art in the Age of Black Power

Published by D.A.P./Tate.
Edited with text by Mark Godfrey, Zoé Whitley. Contributions by Linda Goode Bryant, Susan E. Cahan, David Driskell, Edmund Barry Gaither, Jae Jarrell, Wadsworth Jarrell, Samella Lewis.

African American art in the era of Malcolm X and the Black Panthers

In the period of radical change that was 1963–83, young black artists at the beginning of their careers confronted difficult questions about art, politics and racial identity. How to make art that would stand as innovative, original, formally and materially complex, while also making work that reflected their concerns and experience as black Americans?

Soul of a Nation surveys this crucial period in American art history, bringing to light previously neglected histories of 20th-century black artists, including Sam Gilliam, Melvin Edwards, Jack Whitten, William T. Williams, Howardina Pindell, Romare Bearden, David Hammons, Barkley L. Hendricks, Senga Nengudi, Noah Purifoy, Faith Ringgold, Betye Saar, Charles White and Frank Bowling.

The book features substantial essays from Mark Godfrey and Zoe Whitley, writing on abstraction and figuration, respectively. It also explores the art-historical and social contexts with subjects ranging from black feminism, AfriCOBRA and other artist-run groups to the role of museums in the debates of the period and visual art’s relation to the Black Arts Movement. Over 170 artworks by these and many other artists of the era are illustrated in full color.

2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the first use of the term “black power” by student activist Stokely Carmichael; it will also be 50 years since the US Supreme Court overturned the prohibition of interracial marriage. At this turning point in the reassessment of African American art history, Soul of a Nation is a vital contribution to this timely subject.



PUBLISHER
D.A.P./Tate

BOOK FORMAT
Hardcover, 8.5 x 10 in. / 256 pgs / 203 color / 33 bw.

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Roy DeCarava and Langston Hughes: The Sweet Flypaper of LifeRoy DeCarava and Langston Hughes: The Sweet Flypaper of Life

Published by First Print Press.
Afterword by Sherry Turner DeCarava.

“The sensitivity of the photographs and the excellent blending of the pictures with the text... Bravo!” Henri Cartier-Bresson
The Sweet Flypaper of Life is a "poem" about ordinary people, about teenagers around a jukebox, about children at an open fire hydrant, about riding the subway alone at night, about picket lines and artist work spaces. This renowned, life-affirming collaboration between artist Roy DeCarava and writer Langston Hughes honors in words and pictures what the authors saw, knew and felt deeply about life in their city. Hughes’ heart-warming description of Harlem in the late 1940s and early 1950s is seen through the eyes of one grandmother, Sister Mary Bradley. We experience the sights and sounds of Harlem through her learned and worldly eyes, expressed here through Hughes’ poetic prose. As she states, "I done got my feet caught in the sweet flypaper of life and I’ll be dogged if I want to get loose." DeCarava’s photographs lay open a world of sense and feeling that begins with his perception and vision. His ruminations go beyond the limit of simple observation and contend with deeper meanings to reveal these individuals as subjects worthy of art. As Hughes keenly observes, "We’ve had so many books about how bad life is, maybe it’s time to have one showing how good it is."

First published in 1955, the book, widely considered a classic of photographic visual literature, was reprinted by public demand several times. This fourth printing, the Heritage Edition, is the first authorized English-language edition since 1983 and includes an afterword by Sherry Turner DeCarava tracing the history and ongoing importance of this book.



Roy DeCarava

Over the course of six decades, American artist Roy DeCarava (1919–2009) produced a singular collection of black-and-white photographs of modern life that combine formal acuity with an intimate and deeply human treatment of his subject matter. Grounded by a unified theory of the visual plane, his work displays a subtle mastery of tonal and spatial elements and devotion to the medium of photography as a means of artistic expression. DeCarava created images that carry an emotional impact in their immediate relationship to the viewer, while also revealing less-than-visible terrains. DeCarava’s pioneering work privileged the aesthetic qualities of the medium, carrying the ability to reach the viewer as a counterpoint to the view of photography as mere chronicle or document and helping it to gain acceptance as an art form in its own right.

Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes (1902–1967) was a poet, novelist, playwright, and social activist. Known worldwide as a key figure of the Harlem Renaissance, Hughes’s work has been significant in introducing black history and culture into the corpus of American cultural history as well as inspiring with his humanistic concerns, writers in Africa, the Caribbean, Europe, and South America. While living in Harlem, Hughes maintained close relationships with other writers working in and around the city—Aaron Douglas, Zora Neale Hurston, Claude McKay, and Wallace Thurman were all considered friends and they would frequently gather to discuss politics, writing, and literature. Together, this close group of writers was instrumental in giving voice to the communities that would not accept persecution and marginalization. Hughes’s dispatches for the New York newspapers raised quotidian reportage to an art, filing moving descriptions of the famed Harlem Brigade who were martyred during the Spanish Civil War. Later in his life Hughes turned toward collaboration, working with the German composer Kurt Weill on the 1947 opera Street Scene, with jazz musicians including Charles Mingus and with the photographer Roy DeCarava on The Sweet Flypaper of Life.

Sherry Turner DeCarava

Sherry Turner DeCarava is an art historian, curator, and independent scholar in the fields of traditional arts and contemporary American photography. She has taught or lectured extensively at universities and museums, including Hunter College, City University of New York (CUNY), Brooklyn Museum, and Rockefeller University. Serving as the executive director, the principal focus of her professional career has been the development of The DeCarava Archives, which supports exhibition and scholarly research projects related to the work of her late husband Roy DeCarava. She is the author of two definitive texts on his photography, including that in Roy DeCarava: A Retrospective published by The Museum of Modern Art, New York (1996) and in Roy DeCarava: Photographs, a monograph published by the Friends of Photography/Ansel Adams Trust (1981). Awarded the Prix de la Photographie by Les Rencontres de la Photographie, the Arles Center for Culture, in its annual survey of international photography, her 1981 text was lauded as the best photo/text collaboration of the year. In 2014 she initiated First Print Press, beginning a process to republish classic Roy DeCarava books, while bringing new photographic projects into print.

PUBLISHER
First Print Press

BOOK FORMAT
Paperback, 5 x 7.25 in. / 106 pgs / 141 bw.

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Jack Whitten: OdysseyJack Whitten: Odyssey

Sculpture 1963–2017

Published by Gregory R. Miller & Co..
Text by Katy Siegel, Kelly Baum, Jack Whitten, Richard Shiff, Kwame Anthony Appiah, Kellie Jones. Interview with Courtney Martin.

What a book! This art-historical must-have was published to accompany the revelatory 2018 traveling exhibition of Jack Whitten's previously un-shown and unpublished sculptural work at the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It was reviewed everywhere from The New York Times, The New Yorker and The New York Review of Books to Bookforum, where Albert Mobilio writes, "Whitten repurposed traditional forms with the same ease that marked his movement between modes of visual representation."

PUBLISHER
Gregory R. Miller & Co.

BOOK FORMAT
Hardcover, 9.5 x 11.5 in. / 192 pgs / 161 color.

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Catalog: FALL 2018 p. 43   

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Alice Neel: UptownAlice Neel: Uptown

Published by David Zwirner Books/Victoria Miro.
By Hilton Als. Foreword by Jeremy Lewison.

Pulitzer Prize winner Hilton Als on Alice Neel’s quietly political portraits of her uptown New York neighbors

Known for her portraits of family, friends, writers, poets, artists, students, singers, salesmen, activists and more, Alice Neel (1900–84) created forthright, intimate and, at times, humorous paintings that quietly engaged with political and social issues. In Alice Neel, Uptown, writer and curator Hilton Als brings together a body of paintings and works on paper of African Americans, Latinos, Asians and other people of color for the first time. Highlighting the innate diversity of Neel’s approach, the selection looks at those often left out of the art-historical canon and how this extraordinary painter captured them; “what fascinated her was the breadth of humanity that she encountered,” Als writes.

The publication explores Neel’s interest in the diversity of uptown New York and the variety of people among whom she lived. This group of portraits includes well-known figures such as playwright, actress and author Alice Childress, the sociologist Horace R. Cayton, Jr., the community activist Mercedes Arroyo; and the widely published academic Harold Cruse, alongside more anonymous individuals of a nurse, a ballet dancer, a taxi driver, a businessman and a local boy who ran errands for Neel.

In short and illuminating texts on specific works written in his characteristic narrative style, Als writes about the history of each sitter and offers insights into Neel and her work, while adding his own perspective. A contemporary and personal approach to the artist’s oeuvre, Als’ project is “an attempt to honor not only what Neel saw, but the generosity of her seeing.”

PUBLISHER
David Zwirner Books/Victoria Miro

BOOK FORMAT
Hardcover, 8.5 x 10.5 in. / 144 pgs / 57 color.

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Catalog: FALL 2017 p. 14   

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Four Generations: The Joyner Giuffrida Collection of Abstract ArtFour Generations: The Joyner Giuffrida Collection of Abstract Art

Published by Gregory R. Miller & Co..
Edited by Courtney J. Martin. Introduction by Mary Schmidt Campbell. Text by Chris Bedford, Joost Boosland, Mark Bradford, Alexis Clark, Nicholas Cullinan, Mark Godfrey, Norman L. Kleeblatt, et al.

A gorgeous survey of the world renowned Joyner Giuffrida collection of work by artists of African descent. Artists include Norman Lewis, Jacob Lawrence, Jack Whitten, Robin Rhode, Shinique Smith and many more.

PUBLISHER
Gregory R. Miller & Co.

BOOK FORMAT
Hardcover, 8 x 10.25 in. / 336 pgs / 270 color.

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Catalog: FALL 2016 p. 94   

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Common WealthCommon Wealth

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.

PUBLISHER
MFA Publications

BOOK FORMAT
Clth, 9.5 x 11 in. / 256 pgs / 145 color.

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Catalog: SPRING 2015 p. 67   

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Beyond Mammy, Jezebel & SapphireBeyond Mammy, Jezebel & Sapphire

Reclaiming Images of Black Women

Published by Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation.
Edited by Sigrid Asmus. Introduction by Jessica Hunter-Larsen, Megan Valentine. Foreword by Catherine M. Pears. Text by Heidi R. Lewis, Roland Mitchell, Takiyah Nur Amin, Velva Boles, Claire Garcia, Jean Gumpper, Kate Leonard, Venetria K. Patton, Sha'Condria Sibley, Karen Riley Simmons, Claudine Taaffe.

Engaging a wide range of experiences, techniques and materials, the nine artists featured in this volume challenge the images of black women that continue to pervade our culture and influence perceptions: stereotypes such as the suffering mama, the angry black woman and the temptress. Brought together in this publication, works by Romare Bearden, Mildred Howard, Wangechi Mutu, Lorna Simpson, Kara Walker, Robert Colescott, Ellen Gallagher, Alison Saar and Mickalene Thomas disrupt expectations and replace simplistic narratives with nuanced, sophisticated meditations on contemporary identity.



PUBLISHER
Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation

BOOK FORMAT
Hardcover, 9.75 x 12.25 in. / 79 pgs / 38 color / 9 bw.

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Catalog: SPRING 2018 p. 110   

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David Hammons Is on Our MindDavid Hammons Is on Our Mind

Published by CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts.
Edited by Anthony Huberman. Text by Tongo Eisen-Martin, David Hammons, Fred Moten.

The CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, an exhibition space and research institute in San Francisco, dedicates year-long seasons of discussions and public events to a single artist. In 2016–17, the American artist David Hammons (born 1943) was "on our mind." The book begins with the previously unpublished transcript of a rare artist talk given by Hammons in 1994 at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, on the occasion of his exhibition there. It then introduces a series of photographs the artist sent to the Wattis Institute in 2017, interspersed with texts by the Bay Area poet Tongo Eisen-Martin and the writer and critic Fred Moten. Much like Hammons’ work, this publication raises more questions than it answers. Rather than functioning as a comprehensive introduction to the artist, David Hammons Is on Our Mind offers visual and textual elements that relate obliquely to the enigmatic artist’s oeuvre.



PUBLISHER
CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts

BOOK FORMAT
Hardcover, 8.25 x 11.75 in. / 88 pgs / 28 color.

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