Bearing artistic witness in the ’60s

HANOVER, N.H. — The first image in “Witness: Art and Civil Rights in the Sixties” is Barkley L. Hendricks’s painting “Lawdy Mama.” As an introduction to the show — a bracing mix of dynamism, ideology, and confrontation — it could hardly be bettered. “Witness” runs through Dec. 14 at the Hood Museum of Art, at Dartmouth College.

An African-American woman with an Angela Davis-worthy afro stands against a gold-leaf background. She could be a Byzantine icon — truly, a figure worthy of worship. Encouraging such a response are the steady gaze with which she meets the viewer’s eye and the scale of the canvas, 4 ½ feet by 3 feet. Calm and cool (in both senses of the word), this woman means business. All right, so the revolution will not be televised. It doesn’t have to be. Here it is.

Continue reading below

“Witness” consists of

Article source:

This entry was posted in Fine Art News and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.