African American Visual Arts: From Slavery to the Present / Edition 1

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Bernier traces the major developments in African American visual culture from its beginnings in the ceramics and textiles of slave artisans to later contributions to the fine arts and abstract expressionism, sculpture, installation art, video art, and computer graphics. Bernier analyzes the work of twenty-one artists, including Elizabeth Catlett, Jacob Lawrence, William Edmondson, Howardena Pindell, Charles Alston, Romare Bearden, Norman Lewis, Betye Saar, Horace Pippin, and Kara Walker. She highlights key but frequently neglected and little-discussed black artists, situating their works within their specific historical and political contexts.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Presents some compelling art work by a range of modern and contemporary African American artists spanning more than a century. . . . Includes previously unpublished testimony and commentary from the artists themselves to elucidate their creative practices."--H-Net Reviews

"[A] groundbreaking book. Bernier's aesthetic, formal, historic, and political analyses motivate the creation of bona fide criticism."--Journal of the American Studies Association of Texas

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807859339
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
  • Publication date: 11/1/2008
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Celeste-Marie Bernier is lecturer in American literature at the University of Nottingham.
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Table of Contents

List of Plates vii Acknowledgements ix Introduction 1
1 'The Slave who Paints': Beginnings and the Visual Arts Tradition Dave the Potter James P. Ball Harriet Powers Edmonia Lewis Henry O. Tanner 18
2 'Establishing an Art Era' in the Harlem Renaissance Aaron Douglas Archibald J. Motley, Jr Charles Alston 56
3 Struggle, Survival and Early Abstraction William Edmondson Horace Pippin Jacob Lawrence 89
4 'Images are Weapons': History, Narrative and a People's Art Charles White Elizabeth Catlett Gordon Parks 124
5 'Art comes to have a life of its own': Aesthetics, Experimentation and a New Visual Language Norman Lewis Romare Bearden Betye Saar 160
6 'Racist Pathology is the Muck': Towards a Transgressive Visual Poetics David Hammons Howardena Pindell Kara Walker 194 Epilogue 221 Appendix A 227 Appendix B 229 Sources and Further Reading 234 Index 258
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