Free «Turning Green into Black, Or How I Learned to Live with the Canon» Essay Sample

Steven Nelson, a contemporary scholar on the practice and theory of art history describes in the essay “Turning Green into Black, Or How I Learned to Live with the Canon” the formation of a “black canon” of African American art.

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James Johnson and Alain Locke tried to create in their works a “black canon” of African Americans, achieving diversity in literature and art. Black people were supported in their texts by giving legitimacy and weight in the face of internalized racism. Many African American scholars worked over development of Black Nationalism contributing psychoanalysis and symbiosis in conceptual art. In works of Samuella Lewis, Harry Henderson and Romare Bearden the black artist overcome a racist system and achieved “greatness” in African American history. At the height of 1920s, “black canon” developed greatly in art, literature, even a black woman was recognized as a writer in 1927 year. (Nelson, 2007). Palmer Hayden, painter satirized and caricaturized dual nature of the black race in Harlem on his canvas positively. Robert Smithson illustrated entropy, creating earthworks on industrial area, described subjects on his picture in black colors.

Hal Foster in the story “Citizen Hamilton” showed to us a key artist of XX century, Richard Hamilton, who was a member of Independent Group in London, organizer of This Is Tomorrow exhibition in 1956 year. He introduced collage Just what is it that makes today's homes so different, so appealing? in old modernist styles, used a non-Aristotelian approach and explored postwar period of consumer community. He also exposed caricatural comments, representing satire in his tabular paintings. Hamilton involved notes from Marcel Duchamp, transcribing them for the Large Glass in 1966. In future Hamilton developed his works in a lot of media, using new technologies in Western painting, opposed of transgression and adoration. Author wrote in philosophical way, embracing black-and-white photos and color transparency. 

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