Bearing Witness: Contemporary Works by African American Women Artists

By Jontyle Theresa Robinson | Go to book overview

Pat Ward Williams, artist's statement, January, 1993.
Valerie Smith, "Black Feminist Theory," in Changing Our Own Words: Essays on Criticism, Theoiy and Writing by Black Women, ed. Cheryl A. Wall ( New Brunswick and London: Rutgers University Press, 1989), pp. 38-57.
See for example Smith, Changing Our Own Words; bell hooks, Ain't I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism ( Boston: South End Press, 1981).
Arna Alexander Bontemps and Jacqueline Fonvielle-Bontemps, Forever Free: Art by African American Women 1862-1980, exh. cat., ( Alexandria, VA: Stephenson, 1980).
Lowery Stokes Sims, "Aspects of Performance in the Work of Black American Women Artists," in FeministArt Criticism: An Anthology, ed. Arlene Raven, Cassandra L. Langer, and Joanne Frueh ( Ann Arbor and London: U.M.I. Research Press, 1988), pp. 207-25.
Art as a Verb: The Evolving Continuum, Installations, Performances and Videos by 13 African American Artists, exh. cat., essays by Leslie King Hammond and Lowery Stokes Sims ( Baltimore: Maryland Institute College of Art, 1988).
Autobiography: In her Own Image, exh. cat., essays by Howardena Pindell , Judith Wilson, and Moira Roth. ( New York: INTAR Latin American Gallery, 1988).
Gumbo Ya Ya: Anthology of Contemporary African American Women Artists, introduction by Leslie King-Hammond ( New York: Midmarch Arts, 1995), p. vii.
Gumbo Ya Ya, p. 94.
Bontemps, Forever Free, p. 13.
Since the Harlem Renaissance: 50 Years of Afro-American Art (exh. cat.), essay and interviews by Joseph Jacobs ( Lewisburg, PA: The Center Gallery of Bucknell University, 1984), p. 34.
The use of quilting techniques in particular intercepts with the strategy of engaging in techniques associated with crafts by the art mainstream, as an unique expression of "women's art," specifically the art of women that was relegated to anonymity by art history. Faith Ringgold has noted, for example, how her "soft" sculptures in the early 1970s were called "dolls," allowing critics to dismiss them as "crafts" and "Write them off that way." ( Since the Harlem Renaissance, p. 208). This has been an issue with the women's art movement as a whole since the 1960s. See Lucy Lippard, Get the Message? A Decade of Art for Social Change ( New York: E.P. Dutton, 1984), p. 98.
See Beverly Buchanan Shack Works:A 16-Year Survey, with an interview with the artist by Eleanor Flomenhaft, and essays by Trinkett Clark and Lowery Stokes Sims ( Montclair, NJ: The Montclair Art Museum, 1994).
Dinah Berland, "Artist Finds Magic in the Everyday Object, Individual", Los Angeles Herald Examiner, February 21, 1987, p. B2.
Jackson Jarvis, artist's statement in Art as a Verb, n.p.
Michael D. Harris, "Resonance, Transformation and Rhyme: The Art of Renée Stout," in Astonishment and Power ( Washington, DC: The Smithsonian Institution Press for the National Museum of African Art, 1994), pp. 107-55.
Samella S. Lewis. The Art of Elizabeth Catlett ( Claremont, CA: Hancraft Books, 1984), pp. 97-98.
Bontemps, Forever Free.
Lucy R. Lippard, "Beyond the Pale: Faith Ringgold's Black Light Series," in Faith Ringgold: Twenty Years of Painting, Sculpture and Peiformance, 1963-1983 ( New York: The Studio Museum in Harlem, 1984), p. 22.
Freida High Tesfagiorgis, "Afrofemcentrism and Its Fruition in the Art of Elizabeth Catlett and Faith Ringgold", Sage: A Scholarly Journal on Black Women, vol. 4, no. 1 ( Spring 1987), p. 26.
Albert Bolme, The Art of Exclusion: Representing Blacks in the Nineteenth Century ( Washington, DC: The Smithsonian Institution Press, 1990), p. xiii.
Judith Wilson in Autobiography: In Her Own Image, p. 15.
See Tesfagiorgis, "Afrofemcentrism", p. 28.
Anialia Mesa-Bains in conversation with the author, New York, October 25, 1995.
Deborah Willis, ed., Picturing Us: African American Identiy in Photography ( New York: The New Press, 1994).
Ward Williams, artist's statement.
All the Women are White, All the Blacks are Men, But Some of Us are Brave: Black Women's Studies, ed. by Gloria T. Hull, Patricia Bell Scott , and Barbara Smith ( Old Westbury, NY: The Feminist Press, 1982), p. xvii.
Since the Harlem Renaissance, p. 36.
Adrian Piper, "The Triple Negation of Colored Women Artists," in Next Generation: Southern Black Aesthetic ( Winston-Salem: Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, 1990), pp. 15, 16. See also All Women Are White and Changing Our Own Words; Michele Wallace, Invisibility Blues: From Pop to Theory ( London: Verso, 1990); and hooks, Ain't I a Woman.
bell hooks, Art on My Mind: Visual Politics ( New York: The New Press, 1995).
Tesfagiorgis, "Afrofemcentrism", p. 25. This philosophy was previously discussed by the author in her essay "Afroferricentric: Twenty Years of Faith Ringgold," in Faith Ringgold: Twenq Years, pp. 17-18.
Ibid., p. 25; Smith, "Black Feminist Theory".
Tesfagiorgis, Faith Ringgold: Twenty Years, p. 26.
Alice Walker, In Search of Our Mother's Gardens: Womanist Prose ( New York: Harcourt, Brace, Janovich, 1983), p. xi.


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Bearing Witness: Contemporary Works by African American Women Artists
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Dedication 5
  • Acknowledgments 5
  • Contents 7
  • Preface 9
  • Foreword 11
  • The Visual Education of Spelman Women 12
  • Notes 13
  • Passages - A Curatorial Viewpoint 15
  • Notes 36
  • Warrior Women: Art as Resistance 39
  • Notes 47
  • Triumphant Determination: the Legacy of African American Women Artists 49
  • Notes 78
  • African American Women Artists - Into the Twenty-First Century 83
  • Notes 93
  • Hagar's Daughters: Social History, Cultural Heritage, and Afro-U.S. Women's Art 95
  • Notes 108
  • Illustrations and Biographies 113
  • Afterword 161
  • Chronology 162
  • Selected Bibliography 165
  • List of Illustrations 172
  • Index 174


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