What part did black artists play in Americas civil rights fight? They reinvented Superman and took a seven-mile artwork through Harlem. As the Tate tackles this tumultuous age with Soul of a Nation, we gratify the displays star attractions
Can the soul of a nation be defined by artists of its most oppressed group? Thats the ambitious goal of Soul of a Nation: Artwork in the Age of Black Power, about to open at Londons Tate Modern. Through 150 artworks and more than 60 artists, the present aims to represent the United States ethical, conscious and moral heart its spirit through exhibits make use of( and about) people who historically had less life, less autonomy, and less wealth than their fellow white citizens.
Framing the reveal from 1963 to 1983, the curators were led by how artists of the time were responding to Martin Luther Kings mission and the rising, more militant black power movement. So the exhibition encompasses a wide variety of projects of black topics and/ or created by black artists, from the depictions of demonstration and music in Roy DeCaravas stunning black-and-white photograph( Mississippi Freedom Marcher, Washington, DC, and Coltrane on Soprano, New York, both 1963) to an afro-wearing, bespectacled brother traversing his arms against a gray background, as well as a red, white and blue frame in Barkley L Hendricks 1969 project Icon for My Man Superman( Superman Never Saved Any Black People Bobby Seale ).
In those two decades, people who were artists, activists, and both, did a great deal to recognize blackness as an identity: the Black Panthers organised to stop police brutality, while also generating free breakfast and community medical programmes; Nina Simone liberated To Be Young, Gifted and Black; and Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised black power fists at the 1968 Olympics. And during these times, artists such as Lorraine OGrady were asking: what is art, who is it for? Taking their work to the streets to insist, as William T Williams threw it, that art need not be in a temple. Art could be everywhere.