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African American Abstractionists

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Hilarie M. Sheets writes about the "changing complex profile" of African American abstract painters on occasion of the recent exhibition Black in the Abstract, Part 2: Hard Edges / Soft Curves at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. The show featured works by Derrick Adams, McArthur Binion, Nathaniel Donnett, Sam Gilliam, David Hammons, Felrath Hines, Rashid Johnson, Jennie C. Jones, Simone Leigh, James Little, Rodney McMillian, Nadine Robinson, Leslie Smith III, Cullen Washington, Stanley Whitney, Jack Whitten, and Brenna Youngblood."

Sheets notes that Romare Bearden's "1960 canvas Strange Land, included in the Houston show, would be unrecognizable to most viewers as a work by Bearden. It wasn’t until 1964, when he started making collages inspired by the rituals and rhythms of African American life, that he achieved acclaim… His extensive experimentation with Abstract Expressionism from 1952 to 1964 has gone virtually unnoticed."

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