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  • Know the 30 most incredible black artists: past and present

    • 10th March 2022
    • Posted byNitin Kaku

    Incredible Black Artists



    Black art:

    The black art stands firmly in the world of various art forms with its own beautiful and unique form. This art form portrays the lives of the black people, highlighting their social, economic, and ethical issues the problems faced by them. It also beautifully brings out their glorious culture and traditions. In the present time, Black art has a great significance in the field of art. The black paintings are kept in several museums of Africa and America. Long before the digital era, black art inspired us to love the skin we are in and celebrate the culture connecting us. This art form always aims to remove the margin drawn against the black people.

    Black artists:

    The black artists portray people's black and colorless lives via their artworks. They consider themselves to be black first and artists only after that. They mostly show the lives of the natives from Africa, particularly the Nigroos. Here, we are bringing you the life histories and introducing you to the 30 most incredible black artists, both from past and present.

    1. Augusta Savage:



    Augusta Savage photo:

    Augusta Savage was the first person to emerge as a well-known black artist. Savage was born in 1892 in the small town of Green Cove Springs, Florida. She was the first artist to join the now defund National Association of women painters and Sculptors. She started her career in the city of New York during the Harlem Renaissance. Her most famous work recorded to date is "The Harp." She prepared this for the 1939 New York Fair but was dispatched after the Fair ended since it lacked the resources of maintaining and keeping it in the proper order.

    2. Alfred Conteh:

    Alfred Conteh photo

    Alfred Conteh hails originally from Georgia, and he took birth in Fort Valley, present-day Atlanta. Sculptors like Augusta Savage, Elizabeth Catlett, and John Wilson influenced him greatly. He criticizes and brings forth the black lives via his artworks. The unique feature of his paintings was the rare materials he used in his work, like animal fur, chicken bones, plastic bags, etc. This made his sculptures truly extraordinary from others. His results mainly highlight questioning about black culture's accountability and current state and direction. His recent work recorded is "Two Fronts," which expresses blackness in different ways like aesthetically, economically, emotionally, and spiritually.

    3. Elizabeth Catlett:

    Elizabeth Catlett photo

    Elizabeth Catlett took birth in 1915. She was the first artist to earn an MFA degree in sculpture from Lowa University. Her works gained more popularity as well as critical acclaim in printed form. One of her most famous works recorded to date is "Sharecropper."

    4. Jamad Barber:

    Jamaal barber

    James Barber originates from Littletown, North California. His work carries a unique feature, combining one narrative part, one portraiture part, and one part positive propaganda about blackness. Barber's current exhibited painting is that of "Bright BLACK."

    5. Mary Edmonia Lewis:

    Mary Edmonia Lewis

    Mary Edmonia Lewis was born in 1844 in Greenbush, New York. She sold her first bust and utilized its earnings to travel to Rome in Italy for further work. She was an expert in marble works and was a fantastic sculptor. She was the first professional African-American black artist. Her father was black. She lost her parents at a very young age and was brought up by her maternal relatives. She attended the Oberlin college in Ohio, and there she came up as a fantastic artist. Her elder brother supported her strength throughout her entire carrier. Later, while she was in Boston, the talented sculptor Edward A. Brackett became her teacher. She created her most famous work to date, none other than a bust of Colonel Robert Show, who had died leading the all-black 54th Massachusetts regiment. She used the money she earned from selling these copies to travel to Rome in Italy. One of her most prestigious works recorded in Rome is "Forever Free."This incredibly talented artist breathed for the last in 1907, and the reason behind her untimely death is still a mystery.

    6. James Van Der Zee:

    James Van Der Zee

    James Van Der Zee was born on 29th June 1886 in Lenox, Massachusetts. His father was John Van Der Zee, and his mother was Elizabeth. His wife was Kate Brown, whom he was married to in 1907. James was a fantastic photographer, and he later married his second wife, Gaymella Greenlee, in 1920. His photographs generally captured the scenes of weddings, funerals, clubs, lodges, family groups, and other such mass gathering moments. Howard University offered him an honorary doctorate. This great man breathed for the last on 15th May 1980 in Washington.

    7. Henry Ossawa Tanner:

    Henry Ossawa  Tanner

    Henry Ossawa Tanner was born on 21st June 1859 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He attended the Academy of Fine Arts in 1981. He later traveled to Paris, where he established himself as a famous artist. His paintings mostly portrayed scenes from the holy book Bible. Some of his most famous images to date are "Nicodemus visiting Jesus," "The Banjo Lesson," and "The Thankful Poor." This great personality took his last breath in Paris, France.

    8. Kara Walker:

    Kara Walker

    Kara Walker was born on 26th November 1969 in Stockton, California. The paintings of her father influenced him since her early childhood. She started her work in the Silhouette form at the Rhode Island School of Design. Her work that appeared in a new-talent show at the Drawing Centre in New York in 1994 turned her into an overnight stay. In 2007, TIME magazine included Walker in their famous and most prestigious "Time 100" list, making her famous globally. A group of African-American artists criticized her work in 1997 since they found black stereotypes present in her artworks. However, in 2012, the Newark Library in New Jersey adopted a large drawing of Kary Walker. Walker contributed immensely to the field of black art.

    9. Faith Finggold:

    Faith Finggold

    Faith Finggold was born on 8th October 1930 in New York, Marlen. He was a famous American artist as well a well-known writer. He was an art teacher in public schools. His paintings titled "American people" showed the civil rights movement. And the uniqueness about it was that Finggold made it from a female perspective. In 1970, he made African-style masks, painted political posters, and worked on racial discrimination in New York via his art. In his later life, he established himself as an author of children's books and an illustrator of those books.

    10. Fabiola Jean Louis:

    Fabiola Jean Louis

    Fabiola Jean Louis is a well-known photographer around the globe. Her photographs mainly capture historical themes, covering black topics against magical and whimsical backdrops. "Rewriting History: Paper Gowns and Photographs," her current series, flashback to the Elizabethan, Jacobean, Georgian and Victorian eras. She captured pictures of slavery, black cruelty, and female European nobility by getting women dressed in black and brown in period clothing. Fabiola's snaps have made an enormous contribution to black art and photography.

    11. Gordon Parks:

    Gordon Parks

    Gordon Parks was born in 1912 in Fort Scott, Kansas. He was the beginner to capture ordinary and regular black life portraits in America. His photographs matched perfectly with the current time, making them the most acceptable and popular. He brought forward the lives of blacks in America, who were suffering from poverty and racism, that is, the most sustained problems by the black people, which were often ignored or denied from being accepted as a social and political issue to be solved. His most famous series to date is that of "Segregation Story." In his later life, Parks emerged as the first successful black filmmaker. His most reputed film to date is "Shaft," which genuinely touched the hearts of its views and successfully spread awareness regarding black racism among the public.

    12. Gordon C. James :

    Gordon C. James

    Gordon C. James was a well-known black book illustrator, the magical illustrator of "Crown," the award-winning children's black book. However, this book was written by Derrick Barnes and published by Denene Millner Books. This work of him gave him the utmost social reputation and recognition and earned him a Society of Illustrators Annual Gold Medal and John Newberry and Randolph Caldecott honors.

    13. Deborah Roberts:

    Deborah Roberts

    Deborah Roberts is a unique black artist of the present time who is well known globally. She lives and works in Austin, Texas. Her collage is lovely, and they combine grace and beauty in a unique sense. Her current college centers on black girls. They stand in front of the whitest background, dressed in bright and shiny outfits, showing no interest in the dark skin tone of the girls. She portrays their power via her work.

    14. Romare Bearden:

    Romare Bearden

    Romare Bearden took birth in 1911 in Charlotte, North Carolina. He worked as a professional, mainly in the city of New York. He did fantastic collage works that highlighted blackness. The works sometimes involved cartoons, whereas sometimes collages. His works based on blackness mainly focused on the black body, culture, and abstract beauty. He used actual pictures of African-American lives to portray black humanity in his collages. His most notable works are "The Block" and "Baptism." After his death, the Bearden Foundation was established.

    15. Jean Michel Basquit:

    Jean Michel Basquit

    Jean Michel Basquiat was a fantastic black artist. He was a self-learner, and he started his carrier as a graffiti artist. The unique features of his works, like the involvement of text, tags, figures, and connected patterns, made his paintings extremely attractive and unique. He was the youngest artist who exhibited his work at the Kestner-Gesellschaft gallery in Hanover, Germany, being a 25-year old guy. He showed around 60 beautiful paintings. This artist has the record of the highest-selling black artist of all time. But unfortunately, this great artist lost his life at the very early stage of 27.

    16. Charley Palmer:

    Charley Palmer

    Charley Palmer took birth in Alabama and was brought up in Atlanta, Georgia. His paintings highlight black icons and historical events. He painted several black athletes like Muhammad Ali Jack Johnson; Civil Rights Leaders like James Baldwin and Barack Obama. His artworks also include significant movements and burning issues in history, such as Slavery, Civil Rights, Black Power, etc. Also, his paintings show family, church, and social justice. He worked as an illustrator for the two most popular children's books, "There's a dragon in my closet" and "Marna Africa."

    17. Addye Nieves:

    Addye Nieves

    Addie Nieves is a rising artist whose paintings show abstracts and expressions. She uses certain materials like silk sari scraps, beads, and plastic. She lives in New Jersey and is a self-learner of art. Addie's paintings highlight internationalized otherness and focus on black identity. Her bodily figures in paintings are often anxious.

    18. Jacob Lawrence:

    Jacob Lawrence

    Jacob Lawrence took birth in 1917 in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and grew up in Harlen, New York. He was a fantastic black artist whose paintings portrayed African-American lives, and Jacob's works often highlighted the past black lives. His most noted painting is "Migration Series," which shows the Great Migration, the period of migration of the black sufferers of the South to the states of North and West. He completed this at the age of 25.

    19. Marshell:

    Marshell

    Marshell was an extremely talented black artist who portrayed the black lives via versatile art forms, including painting, sculptural installations, collage, and photography. The unique features of his artworks include cartooning and comical representation, portraying the issues of race and history. His works are found in several prestigious places like the Museum of Modern Art, the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and many more.

    20. Weems:

    Carrie Mae Weems

    Weems is most popularly known for her incredible photography works. However, her jobs also involve text, fabric, audio, digital images, and installation video. Her works portray the issues such as racism, sexism, politics faced by African-Americans today.

    21. Henry Ossawa Tanner:

    Henry Ossawa Tanner

    Tanner was one of the most popular black artists around the world. He was the first African-American artist to gain international popularity. His paintings mainly reflected biblical scenes, and his most notable paintings are "The Banjo Lesson" and "The Thankful Poor."

    22. Ellen Gallagher:

    Ellen Gallagher

    Ellen Gallagher was a fantastic black artist whose works have been shown both solo and group. Her works mainly highlight racial issues and racial stereotypes and portray "ordering principles" imposed by society.

    23. Betye Saar:

    Betye Saar

    Betye Saar was a brave black artist. She took part in the Black Arts Movement in the 1970s. This movement was held against the myths and stereotypes about femininity and race. Her works constantly challenged the negative thoughts and ideas about African-Americans, and thus they are said to be highly political.

    24. Campbell:

    Campbell

    Campbell was an excellent black artist whose works have always been unique and attractive. He picked cartooning as his art form and was able to earn massive popularity as a cartoonist around the globe. He was the first African-American syndicated cartoonist, and his illustrations for Esquire magazine made him highly famous.

    25. Kehinde Willey:

    Kehinde Willey

    Willey is most popular for his paintings showing black people in heroic poses, which are highly naturalistic. He is currently famous for his heroic portraits, which address the state of young African-American men in contemporary culture.

    26. Pippin:

    Pippin

    Pippin, one of the most popular black artists, is most widely known for his renderings of the African-American experience and also historical and biblical imagery. His works moreover portray the injustice of slavery and American segregation.

    27. David Hammons:

    David Hammons

    David Hammons is most widely known for his African-American flag. He was committed to the Civil Rights and Black Power movements, and his artworks clearly show his commitment.

    28. Sammie Knox:

    Sammie Knox

    Sammie Knox is the first African-American artist who painted an official U.S. presidential portrait, which made him most popular worldwide. However, in 2004, he debuted his portrayal of President Bill Clinton.

    29. Lorna Simpson:

    Lorna Simpson

    Lorna Simpson was born in Brooklyn, New York. She took the degree of Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography from the School of Visual Arts, New York, and her Master of Fine Art from the University of California, San Diego. . is a highly talented and versatile artist whose works include multiple tasks like painting, photography, and video. Her works are related to culture and identity. Her results are found in many public collections like The National Art Gallery, Washington D.C.; Tate Modern, London, England; The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, etc.

    30. Howardena Pindell:

    Howardena Pindell

    Howardena Pindell was a fantastic painter. She took her BFA degree from Boston University and MFA from Yale University. Besides being a painter, she was also a curator at the Museum of Modern Art. Her works portray racism and gender discrimination. The results of this amazing artist have found their place in some of the most prestigious locations such as the National Art Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Museum of Modern Art, New York; High Museum of Modern Art, Atlanta, etc.

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