” Homage to Bob Thompson” 44″ x 56″.
Today I read an article on the front page of the New York Times about about black artists and how collectors are beginning to realize how important their place is in the art world. Why does it always take so long for collectors, museums and critics to wake up to what’s going on. Has it been lack of interest or deliberate exclusion as has also been going on with women?
Is this surge in a renewed interest in the likes of Norman Lewis, Bob Thompson and Betye Saar related to the friction going on now between young Black men and the police. I don’t think so. These artist have been around for a long time. How come the rekindled interest all of a sudden? I am not fond of the term Afro-American and have mentioned it before, it pigeon holes artists , the same with Outsider art or Folk art call it what it is, ART by So and So, not So and so the Folk artist. They are artists period. Leave off the Afro, Folk and Outsider artists. They are as American as Gorky, de Koonig, and others who came from distant lands. We do not call de Kooning a Euro-American or Gorky, Armenian American. I came from England and am never referred to as English American.
There is a period of what I call ” The forgotten period of expressionist art” . It ranges between mid nineteen sixties to late nineteen eighties. There has been a renewed interest in this period. Critics are looking back at these years and realizing much was overlooked due to rapid waves of new art. Plus it seems that all the down to earth collectors like Walter Chrysler, Lester Lannon, Hudson Walker, have not been replaced. Their curiosity and love of finding the source of art has disappeared, alas.
Front page headline recognition of these artists in the New York Times is well over due and appreciated by many I’m sure.
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