HBO Documentary ‘Black Art: in the absence of light’ debuts February 9 (9:00 p.m. – 10:25 p.m. ET / PT). Firmly anchored in the history of the American black experience, BLACK ART: IN THE ABSENCE OF LIGHT, provides a vital and enlightening introduction to the work of some of the greatest African American visual artists working today, including Theaster Gates, Kerry James Marshall, Faith Ringgold, Amy Sherald and Carrie Mae Weems, the film is a testament to Black’s indelible contributions American artists in today’s contemporary art world.
BLACK ART: IN THE ABSENCE OF LIGHT is directed and produced by award-winning documentary filmmaker Sam Pollard (HBO “Atlanta Missing and Murdered: The Lost Children”), produced by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Thelma Golden is a consulting producer. The film will be available on HBO and streaming on HBO Max.
At the heart of this feature-length documentary is the groundbreaking exhibit, titled “Two Centuries of Black American Art,” curated by the late African-American artist and scholar David Driskell in 1976. This pioneering exhibit, held at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, showcased over 200 works of art by 63 artists and cemented the essential contributions of black artists in America to the 19e and 20e centuries. The exhibit will eventually travel to the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, and the Brooklyn Museum. The film highlights the extraordinary impact of this exhibition on generations of African-American artists who have claimed their rightful place in the world of 21st century art.
“David Driskell’s monumental exhibition achieved two great things,” commented Henry Louis Gates, Jr. “It simultaneously solidified the canon history of African-American artists and also launched a revolution in black representation. And it is David’s genius, his dual contribution to African American art history – recording his past in stunning detail and thus contributing immensely to the surprisingly creative and productive cultural moment we find ourselves in – that we find ourselves in. let’s celebrate in this movie. ‘Black Art: In The Absence Of Light ‘debuts February 9
With a rich and compelling score by composer Kathryn Bostic, the film presents a range of deeply talented black artists working in the art world today. Combining the ideas and background of scholars and historians, including Mary Schmidt Campbell of Spelman College, Richard Powell of Duke University and Sarah Lewis of Harvard, as well as the voices of a new generation of Afro curators and collectors -american, the documentary is a vibrant look at artists, their creative processes and what fuels that creativity.
“It has been deeply inspiring to see the recent recognition of black artists and the art produced by artists of African descent on a global scale,” said Consulting Producer Thelma Golden, Director and Chief Curator of the Studio Museum. in Harlem. “Like the long line of artists who came before them, black artists today have strived to envision their place in the art world and, in so doing, their place in a historically exclusive canon – their indelible contributions to the fabric of American culture are the result of both their mastery and the very singular nature of their work. “Black Art: In the Absence of Light” presents an art history through the prism of darkness, highlighting the definitive importance of representation and its erudition, and in doing so, inspiring generations to come. . “
“Working on ‘Black Art: In the Absence of Light’ has been a wonderful opportunity to interact with some of the most talented African American artists of the 21st century,” added director Sam Pollard. “Their work continues the long legacy and contribution of so many African-American artists of the past century who received their due in David Driskell’s landmark exhibition. What a lasting and memorable experience for me as a filmmaker. “
- Radcliffe bailey explores race and collective memory in multimedia works.
- Sanford Biggers reflects social and political narratives through a historical lens.
- Jordan Castle tells the human experience through the portrait
- David Driskell (died 2020) was a painter, curator, and prominent African-American art scholar.
- Theater doors confronts the value of black space by focusing on community, land use planning, sculpture and performance.
- Lyle ashton harris examines the intersection of ethnicity, gender and desire in her photographic images.
- Glenn Ligon explores American history, literature and society through textual conceptual works.
- Kerry James Marshall paints a black aesthetic in describing the African-American experience.
- Richard mayhew creates evocative and lush landscape paintings devoid of space and identity.
- Gold Faith Ring captures the racial tensions of the civil rights era through politically expressive paintings and quilts.
- Betye Sarre explores the intersection between African American identity and spirituality through an environmental, cultural and political lens.
- Amy sherald uses the portrait to place black life at the center of American art history.
- Hank willis thomas challenges viewers to consider the complicated nature of storytelling and story bias in his multimedia work.
- Kara walker investigates race, gender, sexuality and violence in America through silhouettes and sculptures.
- Carrie Mae Weems investigates power through images that explore family dynamics, cultural identity, sexism, class and political systems.
- Kehinde Wiley paints black and brown men as mighty heroes in the historical tradition of European portraiture.
- Fred wilson uses cultural objects and symbols to explore social and historical narratives in sculptures and installations.