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Generations: A History of Black Abstract Art

Baltimore Museum of Art

September 29, 2019 – January 19, 2020

Sustained Black with Broken Time and Undertone, 2011

Sustained Black with Broken Time and Undertone, 2011
Acoustic absorber panel and acrylic paint on canvas
Element 1 (left): 24h × 24w in (61h × 61w cm)
Element 2 (right): 12h × 60w in (30.5h × 152.4w cm)
The Joyner / Giuffrida Collection

Press Release

Generations: A History of Black Abstract Art
September 29, 2019 – January 19, 2020
Baltimore Museum of Art
Baltimore, MD

The institution's press release follows: 

Generations: A History of Black Abstract Art offers a sweeping new perspective on the contributions black artists have made to the evolution of visual art from the 1940s to the present moment. Artists featured include pioneers of postwar abstraction once overlooked by history, such as Norman Lewis, Alma W. Thomas, and Jack Whitten, as well as artists from a younger generation such as Kevin Beasley, Mark Bradford, Martin Puryear, Lorna Simpson, and many others.

A central theme of the exhibition is the power of abstract art as a political choice as well as a personal statement for generations of black artists. The freedoms of postwar abstraction took on specific urgency as these artists resisted both the imagery of racist mainstream culture and pressures to create prescribed, positive representations of black Americans. The exhibition draws on the Pamela J. Joyner and Alfred J. Giuffrida Collection’s unparalleled holdings alongside highlights from the BMA’s growing collection of contemporary art and select loans.