My soul has grown deep : Black art from the American South

Published 2018
Item Details

My Soul Has Grown Deep considers the art-historical significance of self-taught Black artists, many working under conditions of poverty and isolation, in the American South. It features paintings and drawings, mixed-media and sculptural works, and quilts, including pieces ranging from the pioneering paintings of Thornton Dial (1928-2016) to the renowned quilts made in Gee's Bend, Alabama. Nearly 60 remarkable works of art--originally collected by the Souls Grown Deep Foundation--are illustrated alongside insightful texts that situate them in the context of rural Southern life, simultaneously revealing their connections to mainstream contemporary art while considering them on their own terms. Art historians Cheryl Finley, Randall R. Griffey, and Amelia Peck illuminate the artists' novel use of found or salvaged materials and the striking graphic aesthetic of the quilts, while a thoughtful essay by novelist Darryl Pinckney provides the historical and political context of the American South, during and after the Civil Rights era, in which this art is grounded. Each of the works, described and outstandingly illustrated, tells a remarkable story of artists who faced enormous difficulties, and whose creativity and determination produced extraordinary and unique forms of artistic expression.

116 pages : illustrations (chiefly color) ; 27 cm
Other Title:
Black art from the American South
This catalogue is published in conjunction with "History Refused to Die: Highlights from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation Gift," on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, from May 22 through September 23, 2018.
Includes bibliographical references (pages 99-112) and index.
Introduction: troubling the waters / Cheryl Finley
Self-taught and modern / Randall R. Griffey
Quilt / art: deconstructing the Gee's Bend quilt phenomenon / Amelia Peck
The old country / Darryl Pinckney.
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