The Harlem Renaissance and Transatlantic Modernism
A groundbreaking volume resituating the Harlem Renaissance as integral to the development of twentieth-century modernism.
In the 1920s and ’30s, Upper Manhattan became the center of an explosion of art, writing, and ideas that has since become legendary. But what we now know as the Harlem Renaissance, the first movement of international modern art led by African Americans, extended far beyond New York City. This volume examines for the first time the Harlem Renaissance as part of a global flowering of Black creativity, with roots in the New Negro theories and aesthetics of Alain Locke, its founding philosopher. Featuring artists such as Aaron Douglas, Archibald Motley, and William H. Johnson, who synthesized the expressive figuration of the European avant-garde with the aesthetics of African sculpture and folk art, this publication also includes works by lesser-known contributors who took a radically new approach to depicting Black subjects with dignity, interiority, and gravitas. This reframing of a celebrated cultural phenomenon shows how the flow of ideas through Black artistic communities on both sides of the Atlantic contributed to international conversations around art, race, and identity while helping to define our notion of modernism. Hardcover, 336 pages.
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