The
CalArts Alumni Magazine
David Hammons, Black First, America Second, 1970. Body print and screenprint on paper.

What It Meant to Be a Black Artist in the Sixties

The internationally acclaimed exhibition, Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power 1963–1983, made its West Coast debut at The Broad in Los Angeles and was on view through September.

Beginning at the height of the Civil Rights movement and running through the activism of subsequent years, the show featured era-defining work from 60 black artists, including Chouinard Art Institute alums Noah Purifoy ’56, David Hammons ’66–68, Timothy Washington ’69, and Daniel LaRue Johnson (early ’60s). Through painting, photography, sculpture, collage, assemblage, and performance, Soul of a Nation celebrated the work of black artists during this significant time period in American history. According to The Broad, the show also revealed “communities engaged in robust artistic dialogues [and] disagreements about what it meant to be a black artist at this time.”

David Hammons, Black First, America Second, 1970. Body print and screenprint on paper.