WITNESS _ ART AND CIVIL RIGHTS IN THE SIXTIES

The 1960s was a period of dramatic social and cultural upheaval, when artists aligned themselves with the massive campaign to end discrimination and bridged racial borders through creative work and acts of protest.

The Brooklyn Museum, New York is shedding a light on this decade of social activism and explores how emotions and zeitgeist then translated into gestural and geometric abstraction, assemblage, Minimalism, Pop imagery, and photography. We realize that artists of the generation produced powerful works formed by the experience of inequality, conflict, and empowerment.

In the process, creatives tested the political viability of their art, and originated subjects that spoke to resistance, self-definition, and blackness – they worked across borders using multiple genres from painting to sculpture to graphics, collage and photography.

Curators Teresa A. Carbone and Kellie Jones did a great job in chosing from a broad range of artwork laying to rest the idea that photography was the only memorable visual work the era produced. It certainly played an important part, but only a part: Most of what’s to be seen in the exhibition is painting, sculpture and collage. Nor, as might be assumed, is the show a black only selection. It’s refreshing to see that the roster is racially and ethnically mixed, the artists varied in degrees of familiarity. Some, like Jacob Lawrence, Frank Stella and Norman Rockwell, are well known, though not necessarily in this historical context.

In observance of the fiftieth anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, this exhibition considers how sixty-six of the decade’s artists, including African Americans and some of their white, Latino, Asian American, Native American, and Caribbean contemporaries, used their own unique aesthetic approaches to address the struggle for racial justice and social equality.

„Witness: Art and Civil Rights in the Sixties“ is curated by Teresa A. Carbone, Andrew W. Mellon Curator of American Art at the Brooklyn Museum, and Kellie Jones, Associate Professor at the Department of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University.

Witness
Art and Civil Rights in the Sixties
The Brooklyn Museum
New York
07 March – 06 July 2014
brooklynmuseum.org



UPCOMING
ART & DESIGN FAIRS


FRIEZE MASTERS 03 OCT/ 06 OCT
FRIEZE LONDON 03 OCT/ 06 OCT

FIAC PARIS17 OCT/ 20 OCT
PARIS PHOTO 07 NOV/ 10 NOV

SCOPE MIAMI 03 DEC/ 08 DEC
DESIGN MIAMI 04 DEC/ 08 DEC
ART BASEL MIAMI 05 DEC/ 08 DEC

Related Reading