A Surprising Retrospective of Forgotten African-American Artist Archibald Motley

Rivka Rass Not even one painting by African-American artist , Archibald Motley , was included in the Whitney Collection of American Art , although Motley was rather successful in the 1920 s and 1930 s . So it was quite a surprise that the Whitney chose to open its new , glamorous building with a retrospective of this forgotten artist who died in 1981 at the age of 89 , although a larger retrospective of the popular Frank Stella was presented concurrently on the 5 th ֳ oor . Like most Americans , I had not heard his name before . Guiltily , I was watching the impressive , naturalistic portraits and colorful , ironic group paintings of black people drinking , dancing , and singing joyfully . Motley’s biography holds some surprises : although he was considered a “ Jazz Age Modernist" of the Harlem Renaissance ( 1920 s ) , he never lived in Harlem . Although he was born in New Orleans , he spent most of his life in Chicago , in a predominantly white immigrant neighborhood , and attended al...  אל הספר
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