Blake Gopnik pays attention to a new generation of black artists in the Washington Post:
an entire younger generation of black artists that may be the most important yet: Glenn Ligon, Kara Walker, Stan Douglas, Steve McQueen, Isaac Julian, Yinka Shonibare and Lorna Simpson are just a few of the figures who have become major players in contemporary art over the past decade or two. These artists make regular appearances in the world’s most important museums, and at such career-making events as the Venice Biennale and the twice-a-decade Documenta survey in Germany, showing complex art that often mirrors the complexities of race. What still needs sorting out is whether the kind of art they make will ever be the kind that people want to buy a pack of cards about. Can huge success in the world of contemporary art lead to Bearden-style recognition in the world outside it?
“We’ve moved from the margin to the center,” says Leslie King-Hammond, founding director of the new Center for Race and Culture at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore. Last fall, her center sponsored an entire conference on the “Transformations” these new artists represent. King-Hammond compares their arrival on the scene to a transporter moment from “Star Trek.” “You say to yourself, ‘How did that happen?’ They are certainly making a critical impact.”
Race Issue a Two-Edged Sword for Contemporary Black Artists (Washington Post)