12 July - 22 October 2017
Tate Modern, London
What did it mean to be a Black artist in the USA during the Civil Rights movement and at the birth of Black Power? What was art's purpose and who was its audience? Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power, a landmark exhibition at Tate Modern from July 12 - October 22, 2017, explores how these issues played out among and beyond African American artists from 1963 to 1983. At a time when race and identity became major issues in music, sport, and literature, brought to public attention by iconic figures like Aretha Franklin, Muhammad Ali, and Toni Morrison, "Black Art" was being defined and debated across the country in vibrant paintings, photographs, prints, and sculptures. Featuring more than 150 works by over 60 artists, including major compositions by Sam Gilliam, Soul of a Nation will be a timely opportunity to see how American cultural identity was re-shaped at a time of social unrest and political struggle.
Sam Gilliam, Carousel Change, 1970, acrylic on canvas, installation dimensions variable, approximate installation dimensions: 118 1/8 x 920 1/8 inches (300 x 2337.1 cm), Collection of Pamela J. Joyner and Alfred J. Giuffrida, San Francisco, Photography: Ian Reeves
Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power is curated by Mark Godfrey and Zoe Whitley, with assistant curator Priyesh Mistry. It is accompanied by a catalogue from Tate Publishing and will include a programme of talks and events in the gallery. Following its presentation at Tate Modern the exhibition will tour to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas and the Brooklyn Museum, New York.