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

    Author(s):
    Pages: 416
    Illustrations: 93 illustrations (incl. 32 in color)
    Sales/Territorial Rights: World
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    978-0-8223-6145-9
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    978-0-8223-6164-0
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  • List of Illustrations  ix
    Acknowledgments  xiii
    Introduction. South of Pico: Migration, Art, and Black Los Angeles  1
    1. Emerge: Putting Southern California on the Art World Map  23
    2. Claim: Assemblage and Self-Possession  67
    3. Organize: Building an Exhibitionary Complex  139
    4. In Motion: The Performative Impulse  185
    Conclusion. Noshun: Black Los Angeles and the Global Imagination  265
    Notes  277
    Selected Bibliography  359
    Index  379
  • "[A] deeply researched, panoramic depiction of how black artists made not only great art, but their own art world in Los Angeles during two crucial decades.... Quite simply, the history, not just of art in Los Angeles, but of modern American art generally will have to be reconceived on the basis of South of Pico and Now Dig This!."

     

    "South of Pico is a testament to the pioneers of African–American art in the twentieth century, who forged new paths to liberation and selfhood through their work. Jones shows how these artists pushed against their own obliteration, and generated a zeal for change that would escalate into the 1980s, 1990s and beyond."

    Reviews

  • "[A] deeply researched, panoramic depiction of how black artists made not only great art, but their own art world in Los Angeles during two crucial decades.... Quite simply, the history, not just of art in Los Angeles, but of modern American art generally will have to be reconceived on the basis of South of Pico and Now Dig This!."

     

    "South of Pico is a testament to the pioneers of African–American art in the twentieth century, who forged new paths to liberation and selfhood through their work. Jones shows how these artists pushed against their own obliteration, and generated a zeal for change that would escalate into the 1980s, 1990s and beyond."

  • “A gifted and original scholar, Kellie Jones offers unique and stimulating insights into the role L.A.’s close-knit African American artists and communities played in creating art spaces in museums, cultural centers, and storefronts. South of Pico is broad in scope, tracing the narratives of oft-neglected artists, exploring the contributions of women artists and feminist visual theory, and highlighting the history of collecting by Hollywood movie stars and entertainers. Wonderfully innovative and extraordinarily researched, South of Pico is a foundational study for western American art.” — Deborah Willis, author of, Posing Beauty: African American Images from the 1890s to the Present

    "Born of decades of research as well as her award-winning exhibition Now Dig This! Art and Black Los Angeles, 1960–1980, this brilliant book by Kellie Jones narrates the rise of this African American art world. Examining the migration of black visual artists to Los Angeles, she discloses the geography of artistic invention against the backdrop of the civil rights movement, Black Power and arts activism, and violent unrest. With this volume, Professor Jones has authored a nuanced and essential history of African American art in the West." — Henry Louis Gates Jr.

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  • Description

    In South of Pico Kellie Jones 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 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. With South of Pico, Jones expands the understanding of the histories of black arts and creativity in Los Angeles and beyond. 

    About The Author(s)

    Kellie Jones, a 2016 recipient of a MacArthur "Genius Grant," is Associate Professor of Art History at Columbia University and the author of several books, including EyeMinded: Living and Writing Contemporary Art, also published by Duke University Press. Jones has curated numerous national and international exhibitions, including Now Dig This! Art and Black Los Angeles, 1960–1980 and Witness: Art and Civil Rights in the Sixties.

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