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Queering Post-Black Art: Artists Transforming African-American Identity After Civil Rights

Queering Post-Black Art: Artists Transforming African-American Identity After Civil Rights
Derek Conrad Murray

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Description

What impact do sexual politics and queer identities have on the understanding of 'blackness' as a set of visual, cultural and intellectual concerns? In Queering Post-Black Art, Derek Conrad Murray argues that the rise of female, gay and lesbian artists as legitimate African-American creative voices is essential to the development of black art. He considers iconic works by artists including Glenn Ligon, Kehinde Wiley, Mickalene Thomas and Kalup Linzy, which question whether it is possible for blackness to evade its ideologically over-determined cultural legibility. In their own unique, often satirical way, a new generation of contemporary African American artists represent the ever-evolving sexual and gender politics that have come to define the highly controversial notion of 'post-black' art. First coined in 2001, the term 'post-black' resonated because it articulated the frustrations of young African-American artists around notions of identity and belonging that they perceived to be stifling, reductive and exclusionary. Since then, these artists have begun to conceive an idea of blackness that is beyond marginalization and sexual discrimination.

Review

‘Murray’s book gives a language and a shape to … black artists seeking to identify and stretch the limits placed on them and for art audiences of all backgrounds and races who want to better appreciate their work … Murray shows how post-black artists push back not only against the obligation to address politics, but also against another aspect of ‘’authentic blackness’’ – masculinity. … ‘’Queering’’ is Murray’s verb for post-blackness. It’s the action of gender-bending and fluid sexuality that he finds again and again in the work of post-black artists … and it’s crucial to his understanding of the post-black phenomenon. Queering Post-Black Art: Artists Transforming African-American Identity After Civil Rights seeks to expand the definition of post-blackness by showing how artists operate in a society that isn’t only racist, but also homophobic and sexist. In many ways, it’s an art-centric argument for intersectionality’. - Mary Mann, The Los Angeles Review of Books

'In Queering Post-Black Art, Murray takes on the project of art history itself, its creation of arbitrary value that lauds certain efforts and excludes others. Murray parses out and takes on discourses that are key to understandings of art history, African-American art, and Contemporary art.  He is unafraid of speaking truth to power.’ - Cherise Smith, Associate Professor of Art History: African-American and African Diaspora Art

‘The first book of its kind, Queering Post-Black Art provides rich analysis and a chronology of artistic and theoretical work highlighting the intersection of black queer and sexual identities…Murray’s work is timely and relevant in its alignment with #BlackLivesMatter’s insistence that LGBTQ lives are to be valued, and it also has profound implications for how high and popular culture might navigate the uneasy relationship between blackness and queer identity.’Michele Prettyman Beverly, CAA Reviews, College Art Association Newsletter  

 

 

Bibliographic Info

Imprint: I.B.Tauris
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd
Series: International Library of Modern and Contemporary Art

Paperback
ISBN: 9781784532871
Publication Date: 30 Oct 2015
Number of Pages: 256
Height: 216
Width: 138
Illustrations: 41 bw integrated, 8pp colour plates

Hardback
ISBN: 9781784532864
Publication Date: 30 Oct 2015
Number of Pages: 256
Height: 216
Width: 138
Illustrations: 41 bw integrated, 8pp colour plates

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