The Joyner Giuffrida Collection of Abstract Art is widely recognized as one of the most significant collections of modern and contemporary work by African and African Diasporan artists, and Four Generations draws upon the collection's unparalleled holdings to explore the critical contributions made by black artists to the evolution of visual art in the 20th and 21st centuries.
Extensively illustrated with hundreds of works in a variety of media, and featuring scholarly texts by leading artists, writers and curators, Four Generations gives an essential overview of some of the most notable artists and movements of the last century, up to and including works being made today.
Four major new scholarly essays provide touchstones for the unifying themes of the collection, and provide historical background on the struggles, innovations, communities and questions that have driven the development of African American and African arts―including a new text by Joost Bosland on the reception of contemporary African art after 1989; Susan and Elihu Rose Chief Curator of the Jewish Museum’s Norman L. Kleeblatt on the pioneering achievements of Norman Lewis; Tate Modern Senior Curator Mark Godfrey on black artists in the 1960s and 1970s; as well as a crucial look at contemporary art and practice by the book's editor Courtney J. Martin, Assistant Professor of the History of Art and Architecture at Brown University.
Short essays on single artists and significant works punctuate each historical chapter, including texts and interviews by noteworthy writers such as Thelma Golden, Philippe Vergne, Thomas J. Lax, Lawrence Rinder, Christopher Bedford and others, on artists like Kara Walker, Mark Bradford, Lorna Simpson, Norman Lewis, Glenn Ligon, Theaster Gates, Clifford Owens, Jennie C. Jones, Julie Mehretu, and more.
The catalogue is further illustrated with major works by artists from throughout the last century, such as Beauford Delaney, Jacob Lawrence, Alma Thomas, David Hammons, Sam Gilliam, Lauren Halsey, Oscar Murillo, Jayson Musson, Robin Rhode, Zander Blom, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye and many others.
Filled with countless insights and treasures, Four Generations: The Joyner Giuffrida Collection of Abstract Art is a journey through one of the most exceptional collections of art in America, and through the momentous legacy of African and African Diasporan art from the last hundred years.