new-york

Harlem ’69

The Studio Museum in Harlem

Fifty-three artists were represented in the Harlem Artists ’69 show at The Studio Museum in Harlem, all by at least two works. Painting predominated heavily over sculpture. Naturally, as the show was so large, styles ranged considerably. Abstract work was rare, and African influence not large, though present in Dawson, Earley, Overstreet, and Carl Smith.

George C. Carter’s constructions mix whimsy and savage caricature. His fine use of the charged, treasured place (American Dream) recalls Cornell, or the vulgar dolls of Marisol. Weekend Triptych includes a white cop, expressionless behind his glasses and his gadgets for official violence, and a black preacher with one hand out for money and the other scratching his head in bewilderment. The total effect is wry and devastating.

Painter David Scott Brown makes good use of broken, ambiguous form to suggest different kinds of energy. Keeping

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