"Afro-Atlantic Histories" at LACMA
|Édouard Antoine Renard, A Slave Rebellion on a Slave Ship, 1833|
Slavery is almost invisible in Western art. That changed only in postmodern times as contemporary Black artists took up the theme and scholars renewed interest in the relatively rare historic depictions of slavery and emancipation. The post-1960s contemporary and pre-1888 historical define the chronology of "Afro-Atlantic Histories," an international traveling exhibition now at LACMA for an unusually long run, through Sep. 10, 2023. It's a show with zeitgeist resonance, star-power objects, and surprises at every turn.
|Abdias Nascimento, Exu Dambalah, 1973|
Start with Brazil, as the exhibition itself did. The Museu de Arte de São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand and the Instituto Tomie Ohtake organized the show in 2018. The former is São Paulo's main art museum; the latter is named for famous-in-Brazil artist Tomie Ohtake and functions as a modern-contemporary kunsthalle. Though the exhibition has gone through nips and tucks on its U.S. tour, the LACMA version incorporates numerous works by Brazilian artists rarely seen here.
Abdias Nascimento was not only a painter but a poet, playwright, scholar, activist, and politician. Exu Dambalah is a lyrical synthesis of African orishas and Latin-American constructivism.
|Emanoel Araújo, O Navio (The Ship), 2007. Painted wood and carbon steel. Museu de Arte de Sao Paulo Assis Chateaubriand|
|Frans Post, Landscape with Anteater, about 1660. Museu de Art de Sao Paulo Assis Chateaubriand|
|Eugène Delacroix, Portrait of a Woman in a Blue Turban, 1827. Dallas Museum of Art|
|Frederic Bazille, Young Woman with Peonies, 1870. National Gallery of Art|
|Nathaniel Jocelyn, Portrait of Cinqué, 1839. Courtesy of the Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis|
|Aaron Douglas, Into Bondage, 1936. National Gallery of Art|
|Melvin Edwards, Palmares, 1988. Museu de Arte de Sao Paulo Assis Chateaubriand|
|Dalton Paula, Zeferina and João de Deus Nascimento, 2018. Museu de Arte de São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand|
|Horace Pippin, School Studies, 1944. National Gallery of Art|
|Hayward Oubre, untitled, 1950. The Johnson Collection, Spartanburg, South Carolina|
|Alma Thomas, March on Washington, 1964. Courtesy of Michael Rosenfeld Gallery|
|Osmond Watson, Johnny Cool, 1967. National Gallery of Jamaica|
|David C. Driskell, Current Forms: Yoruba Circle, 1969. National Gallery of Art|
|Barrington Watson, Conversation, 1981. National Gallery of Jamaica|
|Clementine Hunter, Black Jesus, about 1985. Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture|
|Kerry James Marshall, Voyager, 1992. National Gallery of Art|