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How It Looks to Be a Problem

How It Looks to Be a Problem

(p.52) (p.53) Chapter 1 How It Looks to Be a Problem
Darby English
University of Chicago Press

This chapter demonstrates how modernism was a connective space that answered the need to nurture interracial relations in a situation marked by the forcible separation of things for the sake of separation itself. It discusses how the conceptual coherency secured for Black Art during the late 1960s and into the 1970s depended to a large degree on a parallel effort to banish black modernists from the cultural landscape. It identifies the period with the dematerialization of art—meaning, among other things, the polemical reconceptualization of art-making as cultural production, that ostensibly more engaged type of practice that “politicized” the art world at this time. It also details the rise of the “Black Art expert”.

Keywords:   modernism, interracial relations, Black Art, black modernists, cultural production

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