‘Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power’
“‘Soul of a Nation’ features some 170 works made by black artists between 1963 and 1983,” writes Nell Irvin Painter in the NYR Daily. “Co-curators Mark Godfrey and Zoé Whitley—who both curate the collection of international art at the Tate Modern—chose sixty-seven artists, living and dead, all but two of African descent: some of sustained prominence (for example, Romare Bearden, David Hammons, and Melvin Edwards); others who surged initially, then fell out of fashion (such as Charles White, Sam Gilliam, Dana C. Chandler Jr., and Kay Brown); and others, again, who produced steadily but have only recently achieved widespread acclaim. In this third group are two artists who experienced late but notable prominence: the sculptor Betye Saar, known for a wide range of styles starting with assemblages, and the vividly figurative painter, the late Barkley L. Hendricks. The cover of the Soul of a Nation catalogue features What’s Going On (1974), a Hendricks painting of emphatically dark-skinned figures, one a nude woman, the others wearing luminous white suits and hats.”
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