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American, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 19 February 1946, in Washington DC.

Painter, sculptor, draughtsman, engraver, photographer, video artist, glassmaker, decorative designer. Theatre design.

AfriCobra Group.

Akili Ron Anderson attended the Corcoran School of Art and Howard University in Washington DC where he lives and works. He is a member of AfriCobra (African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists) founded in ...

Article

American, 20th century, female.

Born 1934, in Los Angeles.

Sculptor, ceramicist, draughtswoman, print artist, photographer, film maker. Figures, scenes with figures. Murals.

Camille Billops has a BA from California State College and an MFA from City College in New York. She settled in New York, where in ...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 19 September 1936, in Columbus (Ohio).

Painter, print artist, photographer, film maker. Murals.

AfriCobra Group.

Adger W. Cowans studied at Ohio University, Athens, Ohio, obtaining his BFA in photography. He then enrolled in the US Navy as a photographer. He was active in the civil rights movement and joined AfriCobra, the African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists. In ...

Article

American, 20th – 21st century, female.

Born 1959, in Cleveland, Ohio.

Installation artist, video artist, film maker.

Identity Art.

Renée Green attended the School of Visual Arts in New York in 1980, and received a BA from Wesleyan University in 1981. She has taught at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Vienna (...

Article

Catherine M. Grant and Margaret Rose Vendryes

(b Cleveland, OH, 1959).

American printmaker, film maker, installation and conceptual artist and writer.

Green, of African descent, has worked primarily with film-based media, and has published criticism and designed installations that reveal her commitment to ongoing feminist and black empowerment movements. She earned her BA from Wesleyan University in 1981 and also spent some time at the School of Visual Arts in New York in 1980, returning in the late 1980s to study in the Whitney Independent Study Program, graduating in 1990. At the age of 24 she began exhibiting her comparative compositions containing found objects, images, and texts that question recorded history.

Green’s work deals with issues of anthropology and travel. By undertaking projects via the methodology of the 19th-century explorer, she exposed the arbitrary and prejudiced nature of classification, as in Bequest (1991; see 1993 exh. cat.), an installation she made at the invitation of the Worcester Museum of Art to commemorate their 50th anniversary. Using the museum as a ready-made stage set, she installed works of art alongside 19th-century texts explaining stereotypes of whiteness and blackness. Green characteristically intervened in the history of her chosen site to produce a fiction that included her own responses as an African American woman to her findings. In ...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 30 November 1912, in Fort Scott, Kansas; died 7 March 2006, in New York City.

Photographer and filmmaker, writer, composer. Portraits, photojournalism, social photography.

Gordon Parks broke through racial boundaries in his long career as a photographer, filmmaker, author, and composer. Parks was first drawn to photography through published photographs of migrant workers, and by ...

Article

Reinhold Misselbeck

Reviser Kimberly Juanita Brown

(Roger Alexander Buchanan )

(b Fort Scott, KS, Nov 30, 1912; d New York, NY, March 7, 2006).

African American photographer, writer, film maker, and composer. Parks was the youngest of 15 children and, after the early death of his mother, he took on responsibilities for himself and his family as a teenager. Parks worked in a number of professions before becoming a self-taught freelance photographer in 1937. After getting his start in fashion photography, he worked as one of the Farm Security Administration’s photographic team (1942–3) and held a similar post with the Office of War Information (1943–5). During this time he produced now iconic pictures such as American Gothic (1942), which features a black cleaner in front of the American flag staring into the camera with mop and broom upturned, as if in salute. Parks was soon hired as a photographer for Life magazine, where he worked from 1948 to 1961. During this period he famously photographed such political figures as Malcolm X, members of the Black Panther Party (along with Eldridge and Kathleen Cleaver), as well as urban strife and poverty in Harlem, NY, and Rio de Janeiro. He took photographs of actors (Marilyn Monroe), sports heroes (Muhammad Ali), and singers (Barbra Streisand) while remaining dedicated to social ...

Article

American, 20th century, female.

Born 14 April 1943, in Philadelphia.

Painter, watercolourist, pastellist, assemblage artist, mosaicist, photographer, video artist.

Howardena Pindell studied at Boston University, then at the Yale University School of Art and Architecture. She has lived and worked in New York since 1967. After working as a conservator at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, she has been teaching at the State University of New York at Stony Brook since 1979. She is actively engaged in politics and the feminist movement and was one of the founders of the A.I.R Gallery, a women artists’ cooperative in New York....

Article

American, 20th – 21st century, female.

Born 1953, in Portland Oregon.

Installation artist, photographer, video artist.

Identity Art.

Carrie Mae Weems studied at the University of California in San Diego and then at the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia. She received an honorary degree from the California College of Arts and Crafts, Oakland (California). She has documented the African American experience weaving together jokes, music and storytelling with photographic imagery. Much of her work involves adapting her own photographs and historical images of African Americans by adding text evoking themes of family relationships, gender roles and the histories of racism, sexism, and class. For instance, in her series ...