Friday, February 12, 2010

AfriCOBRA and the Chicago Black Arts Movement

Northwestern University's Dittmar Gallery has a show titled, "AfriCOBRA and the Chicago Black Arts Movement" opening tonight. Info from the Dittmar Gallery site...

In 1968, a group of artists, many of them either from or residing in Chicago, came together to discuss the premise that Black visual art has innate and intrinsic creative components that are characteristic of the culture. They called themselves AfriCOBRA (African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists.) The artists who were present at the meeting consisted of painters, printmakers, textile designers, dress designers, photographers and sculptors who felt that their visual expression was definitely affected by the fact that they were Black and that their Blackness contributed a specific quality to their visual expression.

Once the artists concluded that they had specific visual qualities intrinsic to African American culture, the following aesthetic principles were agreed upon: bright colors, the human figure, lost and found line, and the lettering and images which they agreed identified the social, economical and political conditions of African Americans. These AfriCOBRA artists felt that a collective effort was possible under a common philosophy and a common system of aesthetic principles. They all noted that their work had a message: it was not fantasy or art for art's sake, it was specific and functional by expressing statements about their existence as Black people.

One of the goals of this exhibition is to demonstrate how AfriCOBRA is just one of the many artistic organizations with connections to Chicago that has influenced African American visual artistic production on the national level.

Dittmar Winter 'AfriCOBRA' Exhibition Opens to Public Feb. 12 from Northwestern News on Vimeo.

AfriCOBRA and the Chicago Black Arts Movement
Opening reception Friday, February 12, 2010
6 to 8 pm
Dittmar Memorial Gallery
Nortwestern University
1999 Campus Dr.
Evanston, IL

Admission is free and the show will be up through March 17, 2010

1 comment:

JT said...

Do you know who's work the painting on the top right is? with the zig zag dots? It's incredible.