At the close of the 1960s, black American artists saw their work taxed with formidable, often constraining expectations. Many working at that time–including Barbara Chase-Riboud, Ed Clark, Frederick Eversley, Jack Whitten, and Alma Thomas–remained steadfastly committed to abstract painting and sculpture. Yet this commitment came at a cost: black cultural authorities branded their work non-representative and the artists out of touch. This lecture examines some of abstraction’s functions within the context of the black liberation struggles of the period.
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