When Black Experimentalism Became Black Power

The Black Arts Movement and Its Legacies

Authored by: Margo Natalie Crawford

The Routledge Companion to African American Art History

Print publication date:  December  2019
Online publication date:  November  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138486553
eBook ISBN: 9781351045193
Adobe ISBN:


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In Painting and Other Stuff, Kerry James Marshall captures the challenge artists face when they decide to remain committed to experimentalism and blackness. Marshall asserts,

The concept or the idea of blackness constitutes the fundamental principle from which all of my work springs. That’s the programmatic dimension of my work: the figure is always going to be black. […] Having chosen to work in the register of blackness, what is the range you’re able to work in? Can you darken something that is already dark without losing a sense of volume? 1

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