Synopses & Reviews
This beautifully illustrated catalogue accompanies the first major museum retrospective of the painter Norman Lewis (1909and#150;1979). Lewis was the sole African American artist of his generation who became committed to issues of abstraction at the start of his career and continued to explore them over its entire trajectory. His art derived inspiration from music (jazz and classical) and nature (seasonal change, plant forms, the sea). Also central to his work were the dramatic confrontations of the civil rights movement, in which he was an active participant among the New York art scene. Bridging the Harlem Renaissance, Abstract Expressionism, and beyond, Lewis is a crucial figure in American abstraction whose reinsertion into the discourse further opens the field for recognition of the contributions of artists of color. Bringing much-needed attention to Lewisand#8217;s output and significance in the history of American art, Procession
is a milestone in Lewis scholarship and a vital resource for future study of the artist and abstraction in his period.
Published in association with Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia.
A collection featuring the lives and works of early and contemporary African Americans who have contributed significantly to the visual arts and our understanding of African American life and culture.
Samella Lewis has brought African American Art and Artists fully up to date in this revised and expanded edition. The book now looks at the works and lives of artists from the eighteenth century to the present, including new work in traditional media as well as in installation art, mixed media, and digital/computer art. Mary Jane Hewitt, an author, curator, and longtime friend of Samella Lewis's, has written an introduction to the new edition. Generously and handsomely illustrated, the book continues to reveal the rich legacy of work by African American artists, whose art is now included in the permanent collections of national and international museums as well as in major private collections.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 331-338) and index.
"Beginning with the arts produced in the Colonial period, Dr. Lewis documents and interprets the flow of creative productions of an important segment of the American population. Her book shows that the range of art produced by African American artists covers the entire spectrum of craft productions through painting, sculpture, and printmaking. There is a progressive development of style that not only reflects the trends in particular periods, but reveals an evolving pattern of indigenous qualities that are distinct. The art community in general and the African American community in particular are fortunate to have Dr. Samella Lewis, for she has developed unusual authority in the area of African American art. I know that African American Art and Artists will be of great value educationally and that it will offer a stimulating and rewarding experience to all who have the opportunity to share in its contents."and#151;Jacob Lawrence
About the Author
Ruth Fine retired in 2012 after a long and distinguished career at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, highlights of which included the development and coordination of The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection: Fifty Works for Fifty States and exhibitions of the art of Helen Frankenthaler, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, John Marin, and Georgia Oand#8217;Keeffe, among others.and#160;In 2003 Fine organized the acclaimed exhibition The Art of Romare Bearden, which traveled from Washington to four additional venues. She is chair of the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation board.
Table of Contents
Introduction to the Revised and Expanded Edition
1619-1865: CULTURAL DEPRIVATION AND SLAVERY
The Craft Heritage as an Economic Resource
The Emergence of Professional Artists
Freemen and the Abolitionist Movement
Discrimination and the Problem of Patronage
1865-1920: EMANCIPATION AND CULTURAL DILEMMA
The First Major Landscape Painter
The Diverse Quests for Professional Status
American Reliance on the European Artistic Tradition
192-1940: NEW AMERICANISM AND ETHNIC IDENTITY
The Spread of the Harlem Movement
The Self-Taught Individualists
1940-1960: SOCIAL AND POLITICAL AWARENESS
Mural Art as Cultural and Social Commentary
The WPA and Its Legacy
1960-1990: POLITICAL AND CULTURAL AWARENESS
The Flag: A Symbol of Repression
Reality and the Dream
Symbolism: Geometric, Organic, and Figurative
Sculpture: Additive or Direct
Graphic Processes: Economical and Aesthetic Approaches to Communication
1990-2002: FROM PAINTING TO TECHNOLOGY: ART BEFORE AND INTO THE NEW MILLENNIUM