Curator Andrew Walker Re-tells the Story of African American Abstraction at St. Louis Art Museum—and gets it just right!

“Art is about possibility…it is capacious; its history is ever-changing;and what is lost is only lost until you see it again,” says Holland Cotter in his NY Times essay (April 7, 2006) “Energy and Abstraction at the Studio Museum in Harlem.”

St. Louis Art Museum’s “African American Abstraction: St. Louis Connections” brings that capacious, ever-changing, history of possibility back around for us to view again.

What about ethnic identity? Most artists want to be known first for their art. Let’s say it in the narrative, not on the label: Born_______________Active_______________.

How do we know it’s an African American artist? Isn’t it also nice for people to be surprised? The element of surprise brings subtlty.

Artists just want you to respond to what they do.

Artists want to make a living. Everything else is gravy.

Check out “The Irrascables” at Art of Idiocy?

This show at the St. Louis Art Museum represents a recovery. It’s re-telling the story and getting this time it right. Curator Andrew Walker is to be highly commended.

(Read Chris King’s article in The St. Louis American’s Living It section from Wednesday, February 20, 2008:”SLAM and black artists: Is the museum ‘up to code’ in its acquisitions?”)

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