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12 Jul 2017

We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965-85

Brooklyn Museum

Reviewed by Kyrin Hobson

Like a serious party called forth across time and space, the galleries teem with voices of some forty artists. Their imagery, dialogues, innovations, and revelations meet passionately to recast feminist expression and challenge racial perception in a volatile era.

A stark, dark sculpture by Barbara Chase Ribaud towers as if personifying black female strength. Its contrast with the gown of white gloves worn by Lorraine O'Grady as Mlle. Bourgeoise Noire in staged protests at NY openings only hints at the diversity of issues and media engaged by these artists.

Pragmatism is a palpable thread here, raising resistance as it pulls through everything from personal letters and pamphlets to paintings and a riotous mix of media. To witness this revolution in hindsight is to see a scope that would have been unavailable in real time. Whether assailing oppression and exclusion from the margins, or asserting identity from the gut, the show captures experiences uniquely human, black, and female.

Exhibition We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965-85 link
Start date 21 Apr 2017
End date 17 Sep 2017
Presenter Brooklyn Museum link
Venue 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, NY, USA map
Image Barbara Chase-Riboud, Confessions for Myself, 1972, black patinated bronze with wool, 120 x 40 x 12 inches, University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, purchased with funds from the H. W. Anderson Charitable Foundation, 1972, © Barbara Chase-Riboud, courtesy of her representative Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, LLY, New York, NY, photographed for the University of California Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive by Benjamin Blackwell

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