bell hooks: Art on My Mind: Visual Politics (1995)

27 October 2019, dusan

“In her first book about art and the “politics of the visual,” hooks, a writer known for her clarifying views on feminism and black women, addresses the deplorable absence of discourse on black artists, especially by black critics. Why, she asks, has art played a minimal role in the lives of most African Americans? With a firm grasp of the racial and cultural climate in which black aesthetics must grow, hooks offers some astute answers to that question and holds out hope for change. She then hones her aesthetic in her adept interpretations of the work and impact of black artists, including Romare Bearden, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Alison Saar, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Carrie Mae Weems, Lorna Simpson, and Margo Humphreys. Hooks also discusses portrayals of black women and men in art and, in an essay on photography, how the ‘struggle over images’ became part of the black liberation movement. Art matters, hooks assures us; it helps us forge our identities while forcing society to evolve from being exclusive to inclusive. As erudite and sophisticated as hooks is, she is also eminently readable, even exhilarating.” (Donna Seaman)

Publisher The New Press, New York, 1995
ISBN 1565842634, 9781565842632
xvi+224 pages
via Arch

Reviews: Okwui Enwezor (Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art, 1996), Phoebe Farris (Art Journal, 1996), Publishers Weekly (1995), Kirkus Review (1995).

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PDF (18 MB, updated on 2019-11-5)

Richard J. Powell: Black Art and Culture in the 20th Century (1997)

5 May 2016, dusan

“The African diaspora—a direct result of the transatlantic slave trade and Western colonialism—has generated a wide array of artistic achievements in our century, from blues to reggae, from the paintings of Henry Ossawa Tanner to the video installations of Keith Piper. This study of 20th-century black art is the first to concentrate on the art works themselves, and on how these works, created during a major social upheaval and transformation, use black culture both as subject and as context.

From musings on the “the souls of black folk” in early twentieth-century painting, sculpture, and photography to questions of racial and cultural identities in performance, media, and computer-assisted arts in the 1990s, the book draws on the works of hundreds of artists including Jean-Michel Basquiat, Romare Bearden, Elizabeth Catlett, Lois Mailou Jones, Wifredo Lam, Jacob Lawrence, Spike Lee, Archibald Motley, Jr., Faith Ringgold, and Gerard Sekoto; biographies of more than 160 key artists provide a unique and valuable art historical resource.

Richard Powell discusses the philosophical and social forces that have shaped a black diasporal presence in 20th-century art. Placing its emphasis on black cultural themes rather than on black racial identity, this book is an important exploration of the visual representations of black culture throughout the twentieth century.”

Publisher Thames & Hudson, London, 1997
World of Art series
ISBN 0500202958, 9780500202951
256 pages

Reviews: Deborah Kempe (Art Documentation 1997), Steven Nelson (Art Journal 1998), Kymberly N. Pinder (Art Bulletin 1999), Elizabeth Harney (Nka 1999), Donna Seaman (Booklist).

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PDF (59 MB, no OCR)