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Bound to Appear: Art, Slavery, and the Site of Blackness in Multicultural Americaby Huey Copeland
Synopses & Reviews
At the close of the twentieth century, black artists began to figure prominently in the mainstream American art world for the first time. Thanks to the social advances of the civil rights movement and the rise of multiculturalism, African American artists in the late 1980s and early andrsquo;90s enjoyed unprecedented access to established institutions of publicity and display. Yet in this moment of ostensible freedom, black cultural practitioners found themselves turning to the history of slavery.
Bound to Appear focuses on four of these artistsandmdash;Renandeacute;e Green, Glenn Ligon, Lorna Simpson, and Fred Wilsonandmdash;who have dominated and shaped the field of American art over the past two decades through large-scale installations that radically departed from prior conventions for representing the enslaved. Huey Copeland shows that their projects draw on strategies associated with minimalism, conceptualism, and institutional critique to position the slave as a vexed figureandmdash;both subject and object, property and person. They also engage the visual logic of race in modernity and the challenges negotiated by black subjects in the present. As such, Copeland argues, their work reframes strategies of representation and rethinks how blackness might be imagined and felt long after the end of the andldquo;peculiar institution.andrdquo; The first book to examine in depth these artistsandrsquo; engagements with slavery, Bound to Appear will leave an indelible mark on modern and contemporary art.
A smart account of a defining moment in African American contemporary art.and#160; The early 1990s were a game changer for black artists.and#160; Many rose prominently to lead the field of advanced art more generally--artists like Glennand#160;Ligon,and#160;Renee Green, Fred Wilson, Lorna Simpson and others.and#160; It was in the early 1990s when African American artists began to produce installation and conceptual work, where previously, as an identity group, they had focused on figurative painting and craft work.and#160; Now, suddently, artists were producing site specific installations, sound art, performance, and readymades that sought to immerse the viewer in environments that provoked the experience of slaveryand#160;and raised awareness of the constructedness of "blackness" in this country.
About the Author
Huey Copeland is associate professor of art history at Northwestern University.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
Introduction. The Blackness of Things
1 Fred Wilson and the Rhetoric of Redress
2 Lorna Simpsonandrsquo;s Figurative Transitions
3 Glenn Ligon and the Matter of Fugitivity
4 Renandeacute;e Greenandrsquo;s Diasporic Imagination
Epilogue. Alternate Routes
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