Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power at Brooklyn Museum, September 14, 2018 – February 3, 2019

“The Brooklyn Museum presents the critically acclaimed exhibition Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power, an unprecedented look at a broad spectrum of work by African American artists from 1963 to 1983, one of the most politically, socially, and aesthetically revolutionary periods in American history. Soul of a Nation considers the varied ways that Black artists responded to the demands of an urgent moment and brings together for the first time the disparate and innovative practices of more than sixty artists from across the country, offering an unparalleled opportunity to see their significant works side by side. The Brooklyn Museum is the only East Coast venue for this exhibition, which was organized by Tate Modern in London and traveled to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, in early 2018. 

Soul of a Nation features more than 150 works of art in a sweeping aesthetic range, from figurative and abstract painting to assemblage, sculpture, photography, and performance. Among the influential artists of the time highlighted in the exhibition are Emma Amos, Frank Bowling, Sam Gilliam, Barkley Hendricks, Betye Saar, Alma Thomas, Jack Whitten, and William T. Williams. The Brooklyn presentation will also include several works by artist and scholar David Driskell, Suzanne Jackson’s Triplical Communications (1969), and a large-scale draped painting by Sam Gilliam titled Carousel Merge (1971). In addition, a monochromatic work by Emma Amos will be on view, as well as two large-scale paintings by British Guyana–born artist Frank Bowling and an abstract push-broom painting by Ed Clark from the late 1970s, which recently joined the Museum’s permanent collection.” — Brooklyn Museum

Photographs by Corrado Serra.

Installation view of section “New York: Revolutionary Images and Art World Activism”

Installation view of section “New York: Revolutionary Images and Art World Activism”

Installation view of section “New York: Revolutionary Images and Art World Activism”

Installation view of section “Los Angeles: Assemblage and Other Sculpture”

Installation view of section “Chicago: OBAC and AfriCOBRA”

Installation view of section “Chicago: OBAC and AfriCOBRA”

William T. Williams. Trane, 1969. The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York. Gift of Charles Cowles, New York

Installation view of section “Painting Abstraction and Figuration”

Installation view of section “Painting Abstraction and Figuration”

Installation view of section “Painting Abstraction and Figuration”

Center: Sam Gilliam. Carousel Change, 1970. The Joyner/Giuffrida Collection

Jack Whitten. Homage to Malcolm, 1970. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth

Installation view of section “Rethinking the Surface”

Installation view of section “Rethinking the Surface”

Installation view of section “Foregrounding Movement and Action”

Installation view of section “Making Space for Experimental Black Art: Just Above Midtown”

Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power is organized by Tate Modern in collaboration with Brooklyn Museum and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas, and curated by Mark Godfrey, Senior Curator, International Art, and Zoe Whitley, Curator, International Art, Tate Modern. The Brooklyn Museum presentation is curated by Ashley James, Assistant Curator, Contemporary Art, Brooklyn Museum.