African-American Artists, 1880-1987: Selections from the Evans-Tibbs Collection

Guy C. McElroy, Author University of Washington Press $19.95 (125p) ISBN 978-0-295-96836-0
Three essays in this companion volume to a traveling exhibition trace the artistic and political forces shaping African-American art of the last century. McElroy, guest curator at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C., explores the years 1880-1920; however, his dry, formalistic analyses of various works do not address what their makers might have had in common aside from race. Fortunately, Powell, program director for the Washington D.C. Project for the Arts, and Patton, chief curator of Harlem's Studio Museum, who respectively cover the periods 1920-1950 and 1950-1987, relate the pieces in the collection to one another, placing them in a socio-historical context. Color reproductions of 75 works are well integrated and commendably diverse, and include art by Elizabeth Catlett, whose subjects address societal inequities, and by Charles Alston, who in the 1930s led the influential Harlem Art Workshop and who was equally adept at figurative and abstract representation. Prints, etchings such as those of Henry O. Tanner, whose works are marked by religious themes, and the folk art of Bill Traylor, who at 85 began to draw on cardboard scraps, complement the oil paintings depicted here. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 04/30/1989
Release date: 05/01/1989
Hardcover - 125 pages - 978-0-295-96837-7
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