South of Pico: African American Artists in Los Angeles in the 1960s and 1970s
Kellie Jones, a 2016 recipient of a MacArthur "Genius Grant," is Associate Professor of Art History at Columbia University and the author of several books, including EyeMinded: Living and Writing Contemporary Art, also published by Duke University Press. Jones has curated numerous national and international exhibitions, including Now Dig This! Art and Black Los Angeles, 1960–1980 and Witness: Art and Civil Rights in the Sixties.
In South of Pico Kellie Jones explores how the artists in Los Angeles's black communities during the 1960s and 1970s created a vibrant, productive, and engaged activist arts scene in the face of structural racism. Emphasizing the importance of African American migration, as well as L.A.'s housing and employment politics, Jones shows how the work of black Angeleno artists such as Betye Saar, Charles White, Noah Purifoy, and Senga Nengudi spoke to the dislocation of migration, L.A.'s urban renewal, and restrictions on black mobility. Jones characterizes their works as modern migration narratives that look to the past to consider real and imagined futures. She also attends to these artists' relationships with gallery and museum culture and the establishment of black-owned arts spaces. With South of Pico, Jones expands the understanding of the histories of black arts and creativity in Los Angeles and beyond.
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