Special Exhibition

Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power 1963-1983

Image of a screenprint by artist Barbara Jones-Hog: Unite (First State), 1969. Screenprint. © Barbara Jones-Hogu

Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power shines a bright light on the vital contribution of Black artists made over two decades, beginning in 1963 at the height of the civil rights movement. The exhibition examines the influences, from the civil rights and Black Power movements to Minimalism and developments in abstraction, on artists such as Romare BeardenBarkley HendricksNoah PurifoyMartin PuryearFaith RinggoldBetye SaarAlma ThomasCharles White, and William T. Williams. Los Angeles-based artists appear throughout Soul of a Nation, and more deeply in three specific galleries, foregrounding the significant role of Los Angeles in the art and history of the civil rights movement and the subsequent activist era, and the critical influence and sustained originality of the city’s artists, many of whom have lacked wider recognition.

Featuring the work of more than 60 influential artists and including vibrant paintings, powerful sculptures, street photography, murals, and more, this landmark exhibition is a rare opportunity to see era-defining artworks that changed the face of art in America.

This exhibition is organized by Tate Modern, London in collaboration with The Broad, Los Angeles, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas and Brooklyn Museum, New York. Curated by Mark Godfrey, Senior Curator, International Art and Zoe Whitley, Curator, International Art, Tate Modern. The Broad presentation is curated by Sarah Loyer, Associate Curator and Exhibitions Manager.

Image Credit: Barbara Jones-Hogu, Unite (First State), 1969. Screenprint. © Barbara Jones-Hogu

Upcoming Related Programs

Elizabeth Catlett, Black Unity, 1968. Cedar. 21 in. × 12 1/2 in. × 23 in. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas, 2014.11. Photography by Edward C. Robison III. © Catlett Mora Family Trust/VAGA at ARS, NY

Saturday, March 23, 2019 | 10:00 a.m.

Artworks

Dawoud Bey
A Boy in front of the Loew’s 125th Street Movie Theater
1976, printed by 1979
Photograph, gelatin silver print on paper
20 7/8 x 18 7/8 x 1 1/4 in.
Elizabeth Catlett
Black Unity (detail)
1968
Cedar
21 in. × 12 1/2 in. × 23 in.
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas, 2014.11.
Roy DeCarava
Couple walking
1979
Photograph, gelatin silver print on paper
27.9 x 35.6 in.
Courtesy Sherry DeCarava and the DeCarava Archives
Roy DeCarava
Mississippi freedom marcher, Washington D.C.
1963
Photograph, gelatin silver print on paper
Courtesy Sherry DeCarava and the DeCarava Archives
Jeff Donaldson
Wives of Sango
1971
Paint, foil, and ink on cardboard
36 1/4 x 25 9/16 in.
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Courtesy of Jameela K. Donaldson
David Hammons
Black First, American Second
1970
Body print and screenprint on paper
104.8 x 79.4 in.
Barbara Jones-Hogu
Unite (First State)
1969
Screenprint
Carolyn Lawrence
Black Children Keep Your Spirits Free
1972
Acrylic on canvas
49 x 51 x 2 in.
Image courtesy of the artist
Betye Saar
Rainbow Mojo
1972
Acrylic painting on cut leather
19 3/4 x 49 3/4 in.
Courtesy of the artist and Roberts Projects, Los Angeles, California