Ttracing an underlooked 20-year period of creative innovation among African-American artists, against the seismic backdrop of the Civil Rights movement, the new Tate Modern exhibition presents a rare opportunity to see era-defining artworks that changed the face of art in America.
Spanning the period 1963–83, Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power explores how the category ‘Black Art’ was defined, rejected and redefined by artists across the United States. Most of the works on display are shown in the UK for the first time and introduce the UK audience to American artists such as Romare Bearden, Norman Lewis, Lorraine O’Grady and Betye Saar, alongside prominent British Guyanese painter Frank Bowling who was resident in New York much of this time.
Beginning with the establishment of Spiral art collective in 1963, the exhibition explores how debate raged among and beyond African American visual artists as to what it meant to make and show art, who it was for and how to relate it to the Civil Rights movement and other campaigns for racial empowerment.
Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power
12 July – 22 October 2017