University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Wolfson College Lunchtime Seminar Series - Wednesdays of Full Term > From Redemption to Revolution: junk art and black power in 1960s California

From Redemption to Revolution: junk art and black power in 1960s California

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Postwar California produced a distinct African American avant-garde. In the aftermath of the 1965 Watts riot, black artists based in Los Angeles pushed the parameters of consciously black art by offering a fundamental reevaluation of the meaning art could have in black lives. Much like avant-garde jazz musicians, visual artists developed a unique mixed-media language that combined themes of political insurgency, communitarian engagement, and familiar cultural tropes of migration, musical, spirituality, and family. Augmented by a cross-generic engagement with sound and text, this bricolage avoided the formal limits of realist representation while producing a culturally specific aesthetics that artists could take as emblematic of the black liberation movement’s broader critique of the limits of American society.

This talk is part of the Wolfson College Lunchtime Seminar Series - Wednesdays of Full Term series.

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