Older artists profiled in this article are achieving belated critical and financial success after laboring in obscurity for much of their careers. In her title the author makes the artists’ ethnicity explicit, providing good context for the categorization, and it’s enough
said. Many don’t wish their art to be filtered through “the lens of identity.”
Artists mentioned are: McArthur Binion, Howardena Pindell, Melvin Edwards, Lorraine O’Grady, Frank Bowling, Sam Gilliam, Barkley Hendricks, Jack Whitten, Mark Bradford, Charles Gaines, William T. Williams, Barbara Chase-Riboud, and Kerry James Marshall.
I particularly savored Melvin Edwards’s pithy remarks:
“You invent your own game — and then you push it forward,” said Mr. Edwards, who taught at Rutgers for 30 years. “It’s about time the art world caught up.”
He is philosophical about all the new attention.
“Some is serious, some is fickle and some is not at all positive — you just have to find your way through it,” he said.
(Hilarie M. Sheets, “Discovered After 70, Black Artists Find Success, Too, Has Its Price,” NYTimes, 3-23-19)
(c) 2019 JMN.