September 16 - December 12, 2021
From the Art Galleries at Black Studies:
“The Art Galleries at Black Studies (AGBS) is pleased to host the traveling group exhibition The Black Index at its Christian-Green Gallery. Dedicated to the legacy of artist and scholar David C. Driskell, The Black Index features the work of Dennis Delgado, Alicia Henry, Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle, Titus Kaphar, Whitfield Lovell, and Lava Thomas. The artists included in The Black Index build upon the tradition of Black self-representation as an antidote to colonialist images. Using drawing, performance, printmaking, sculpture, and digital technology to transform the recorded image, the artists featured in The Black Index question our reliance on photography as a privileged source for documentary objectivity and understanding. Their works offer an alternative practice—a Black index—that still serves as a finding aid for information about Black subjects, but also challenges viewers’ desire for classification. The works in The Black Index make viewers aware of their own expectations of Black figuration by interrupting traditional epistemologies of portraiture through unexpected and unconventional depictions. These works image the Black body through a conceptual lens that acknowledges the legacy of Black containment that is always present in viewing strategies. The approaches used by Delgado, Henry, Hinkle, Kaphar, Lovell, and Thomas suggest understandings of Blackness and the racial terms of our neo-liberal condition that counter legal and popular interpretations and, in turn, offer a paradigmatic shift within Black visual culture. Curated by Bridget R. Cooks, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of African American Studies and the Department of Art History, University of California, Irvine. Site-curated by Cherise Smith, Ph.D., Chair of African and African Diaspora Studies at the University of Texas at Austin and the Founding Executive Director of the Art Galleries at Black Studies; and Kendyll Gross, Curator of Public Programs at the Art Galleries at Black Studies. Exhibition and tour organized by Sarah Watson, Chief Curator, Hunter College Art Galleries, New York in collaboration with the University Art Galleries at UC Irvine, Palo Alto Art Center, and Art Galleries at Black Studies, University of Texas at Austin.
ABOUT THE PUBLICATION In conjunction with the exhibition, the Hunter College Art Galleries with Hirmer Publishers are producing a comprehensive full color illustrated catalogue (available spring 2021). Edited by Bridget R. Cooks and Sarah Watson, the publication includes a comprehensive curatorial essay by Bridget R. Cooks PhD., with additional essays by Calvin Smiley, PhD. Assistant Professor in the Sociology department at Hunter College, CUNY and Sarah Watson, as well as artist bios written by Re’al Christian, Hunter College MA Art History/Curatorial Certificate Candidate and Ella Turenne, Visual Studies PhD. Candidate UC Irvine. The publication for The Black Index will be available through University of Chicago Press and Thames and Hudson. Lead support for The Black Index is provided by The Ford Foundation with additional support by UCI Confronting Extremism Program, Getty Research Institute, Fundación Almine y Bernard Ruiz-Picasso para el Arte, Carol and Arthur Goldberg, Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation, Leubsdorf Fund at Hunter College, Joan Lazarus Fellowship program at Hunter College, Loren and Mike Gordon, Pamela and David Hornik, University of California Office of the President Multi-campus Research Programs and Initiative Funding, University of California Humanities Research Institute, Illuminations: The Chancellor’s Arts and Culture Initiative, UCI Humanities Center, Department of African American Studies, Department of Art History, The Reparations Project, and the UC Irvine Black Alumni Chapter. This project was made possible with support from California Humanities, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Visit calhum.org. ABOUT THE ART GALLERIES AT BLACK STUDIES A central feature of Black Studies’ Art and Archive Initiative, The Art Galleries at Black Studies (AGBS) displays and collects art, archival materials, and special collections relating to the Black experience. AGBS’ Christian-Green Gallery, housed on Jester Hall’s second floor, regularly exhibits artwork from notable figures such as Deborah Roberts and Jacob Lawrence. The gallery is a space for scholarship, engagement, and activism where works by emerging and established artists are mounted, and cutting-edge programs are launched. With its experimental exhibitions and emphasis on community, the Idea Lab serves as an important cultural gem on the University of Texas at Austin’s campus. Flexing as a gallery, think-tank and meeting room, the space fosters dynamic conversations around topics relevant to both university audiences and the wider public within Austin. Centers for key AGBS exhibitions as well as for important conversations, the Christian-Green Gallery and the Idea Lab honor the significant role of the Black Diaspora’s creative expression in the struggle for social justice.”
On View: September 16, 2021 | 1–5 pm
201 E 21st St.
Austin, 78705 TexasGet directions