South of Pico: African American Artists in Los Angeles in the 1960s and 1970s Kellie Jones

Published by Duke Press, Durham, 2017, 416 pages (b/w ill.), 15 × 22.5 cm, English

Price: €22

In South of Pico, Kellie Jones (curator of Now Dig This, 2011) explores how the artists in Los Angeles’s black communities during the 1960s and 1970s created a vibrant, productive, and engaged activist arts scene in the face of structural racism. Emphasizing the importance of African American migration, as well as L.A.’s housing and employment politics, Jones shows how the work of black Angeleno artists such as David Hammons, Melvin Edwards, Betye Saar, Charles White, Noah Purifoy, and Senga Nengudi spoke to the dislocation of migration, L.A.’s urban renewal, and restrictions on black mobility. Jones characterizes their works as modern migration narratives that look to the past to consider real and imagined futures. She also attends to these artists’ relationships with gallery and museum culture and the establishment of black-owned arts spaces.

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