We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965–85 at Brooklyn Museum, April 21 – September 17, 2017

A Year of Yes: Reimagining Feminism at the Brooklyn Museum continues with We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965–85. Focusing on the work of more than forty black women artists from an under-recognized generation, the exhibition highlights a remarkable group of artists who committed themselves to activism during a period of profound social change marked by the Civil Rights and Black Power Movements, the Women’s Movement, the Anti-War Movement, and the Gay Liberation Movement, among others. The groundbreaking exhibition reorients conversations around race, feminism, political action, art production, and art history, writing a broader, bolder story of the multiple feminisms that shaped this period.

We Wanted a Revolution features a wide array of work, including conceptual, performance, film, and video art, as well as photography, painting, sculpture, and printmaking, reflecting the aesthetics, politics, cultural priorities, and social imperatives of this period. It begins in the mid-1960s, as younger activists began shifting from the peaceful public disobedience favored by the Civil Rights Movement to the more forceful tactics of the Black Power Movement. It moves through multiple methods of direct action and institutional critique in the 1970s, and concludes with the emergence of a culturally based politics focused on intersecting identities of race, gender, class, and sexuality in the early 1980s.” — Brooklyn Museum

Jan van Raay (American, born 1942). Faith Ringgold (right) and Michele Wallace (middle) at Art Workers Coalition Protest, Whitney Museum, 1971. Digital C-print. Courtesy of Jan van Raay, Portland, OR, 305-37. © Jan van Raay.

Faith Ringgold (American, b. 1930). Early Works #25: Self-Portrait, 1965. Oil on canvas, 50 x 40 in. (127 x 101.6 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Elizabeth A. Sackler, 2013.96. © 1965 Faith Ringgold. (Photo: Sarah DeSantis, Brooklyn Museum).

Faith Ringgold (American, born 1930). For the Women’s House, 1971. Oil on canvas, 96 x 96 in. (243.8 x 243.8 cm). Courtesy of Rose M. Singer Center, Rikers Island Correctional Center. © 2017 Faith Ringgold / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Dindga McCannon (American, born 1947). Revolutionary Sister, 1971. Mixed media construction on wood, 62 x 27 in. (157.5 x 68.6 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of R. M. Atwater, Anna Wolfrom Dove, Alice Fiebiger, Joseph Fiebiger, Belle Campbell Harriss, and Emma L. Hyde, by exchange, Designated Purchase Fund, Mary Smith Dorward Fund, Dick S. Ramsay Fund, and Carll H. de Silver Fund, 2012.80.32. © Dindga McCannon. (Photo: Jonathan Dorado, Brooklyn Museum).

Howardena Pindell (American, born 1930). Still from Free, White and 21, 1980. Video, 12 min.15 sec. Courtesy of the artist and Garth Greenan Gallery, New York. © Howardena Pindell.

Howardena Pindell (American, born 1943). Installation view of Free, White and 21, 1980. In Dialectics of Isolation: An Exhibition of Third World Women Artists of the United States, A.I.R. Gallery (September 2-20, 1980). 12 min.15 sec. Courtesy of the artist and Garth Greenan Gallery, New York

Lorraine O’Grady (American, born 1934). Mlle Bourgeoise Noire Goes to the New Museum, 1981. Performed at the New Museum, New York. Gelatin silver print, 9 ¼ x 7 in. (23.6 x 17.8 cm). Courtesy of Alexander Gray Associates. © 2017 Lorraine O’Grady / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Barbara Chase-Riboud (American, born 1939). Confessions for Myself, 1972. Black patinated bronze with wool, 120 x 40 x 12 in. (304.8 x 101.6 x 30.5 cm). University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, purchased with funds from the H. W. Anderson Charitable Foundation, 1972.105. © Barbara Chase-Riboud, courtesy of her representative Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, LLY, New York, NY. (Photographed for the University of California Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive by Benjamin Blackwell)

Senga Nengudi (American, born 1943). Inside/Outside, 1977. Nylon, mesh, rubber, approximately 60 x 24 in. (152.4 x 61 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Burt Aaron, the Council for Feminist Art, and the Alfred T. White Fund, 2011.21. © Senga Nengudi. (Photo: Sarah DeSantis, Brooklyn Museum).

Jae Jarrell (American, born 1935). Ebony Family, circa 1968. Velvet dress with velvet collage, 38½ x 38 x ½ in. (97.8 x 96.5 x 1.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of R.M. Atwater, Anna Wolfrom Dove, Alice Fiebiger, Joseph Fiebiger, Belle Campbell Harriss, and Emma L. Hyde, by exchange, Designated Purchase Fund, Mary Smith Dorward Fund, Dick S. Ramsay Fund, and Carll H. de Silver Fund, 2012.80.15. © Jae Jarrell. (Photo: Sarah DeSantis, Brooklyn Museum).

Where We At Collective. Cookin’ and Smokin’, 1972. Offset printed poster, 14 x 11 in. (35.6 x 27.9 cm). Collection of David Lusenhop. Photo courtesy of Dindga McCannon Archives, Philadelphia, PA. © Dindga McCannon. (Photo: David Lusenhop).

Faith Ringgold (American, born 1930). Committee to Defend the Panthers, 1970. Collage on cardboard, 28 × 22 in. (71.1 × 55.9 cm). Museum of Modern Art, New York, The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Endowment for Prints, 236.2016. © 2017 Faith Ringgold / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Lorna Simpson (American, born 1960). Waterbearer, 1986. Gelatin silver print with vinyl lettering, 59 × 80 × 2¼ in. (149.9 × 203.2 × 5.7 cm). Courtesy of Lorna Simpson. © 1986 Lorna Simpson.

Lorna Simpson (American, born 1960). Rodeo Caldonia (Left to Right: Alva Rogers, Sandye Wilson, Candace Hamilton, Derin Young, Lisa Jones), 1986. Photographic print, 8 x 10 in. (20.3 x 25.4 cm). Courtesy of Lorna Simpson. © 1986 Lorna Simpson.

Emma Amos (American, born 1938). Sandy and Her Husband, 1973. Oil on canvas, 44¼ x 50¼ in. (112.4 x 127.6 cm). Courtesy of Emma Amos. © Emma Amos; courtesy of the artist and RYAN LEE, New York. Licensed by VAGA, New York.

Emma Amos (American, born 1938). Preparing for a Face Lift, 1981. Etching and crayon, 8¼ x 7¾ in. (21 x 19.7 cm). Courtesy of Emma Amos. © Emma Amos; courtesy of the artist and RYAN LEE, New York. Licensed by VAGA, New York.

Betye Saar (American, born 1926). Liberation of Aunt Jemima: Cocktail, 1973. Mixed-media assemblage, 12 x 18 in. (30.5 x 45.7 cm). Private collection. © Betye Saar, courtesy the artist and Roberts & Tilton, Culver City, California. (Photo: Jonathan Dorado, Brooklyn Museum).

Lona Foote (American, 1948-1993). Blondell Cummings performing “Blind Dates” at Just Above Midtown Gallery, November 1982, 1982. Photograph, 10 x 8 in. (25.4 x 20.3 cm). Special Collections and University Archives, Rutgers University Libraries. © Estate of Lona Foote, courtesy of Howard Mandel.

Carrie Mae Weems (American, born 1953). Family Reunion, 1978-84. Gelatin silver print, 30 x 40 in. (framed). Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York. © Carrie Mae Weems

Carrie Mae Weems (American, born 1953). Mirror Mirror, 1987-88. Silver print, 24 ¾ x 20 ¾ in. (62.9 x 52.7 cm). Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York. © Carrie Mae Weems.

Maren Hassinger (American, born 1947). Leaning, 1980. Wire and wire rope, 16 in. x variable width and depth (40.7 cm x variable width and depth). Courtesy of the artist. © Maren Hassinger. (Photo: Adam Avila).

Maren Hassinger (American, born 1947). Leaning, 1980. Wire rope and wire, 16″ x 36″x 36″

We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965–85 was curated by Catherine Morris, Sackler Family Senior Curator for the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, and Rujeko Hockley, Assistant Curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art and former Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art at the Brooklyn Museum.

Images courtesy Brooklyn Museum.