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PRINT February 2010

OPENINGS: LESLIE HEWITT

Leslie Hewitt, Make It Plain (2 of 5), 2006, one of five color photographs and custom frames, each 60 x 84". From the series “Make It Plain,” 2006.

DURING THE PAST DECADE, signs of black dissent have appeared with increasing frequency in American artistic production—a phenomenon that is part and parcel of a larger turn among contemporary artists toward imagery of the 1960s and ’70s. Consider just a few of the more compelling examples: In a 2001 drawing, Sam Durant meticulously rendered a photograph depicting a dark hand stacking copies of Eldridge Cleaver’s Soul on Ice; as part of an ongoing performative intervention, in 2005 Sharon Hayes walked through New York clutching her own version of the I AM A MAN poster famously held up by striking Memphis sanitation workers in 1968; and on a page in their untitled 2008 mixed-media mailing, the collective Otabenga Jones & Associates reproduced the famous image of an armed and enthroned Huey Newton, with the face cut out, asking readers to restore the Black Panther’s visage to

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