A New Film Charts 150 Years of African-American Art | Hyperallergic

In a profile last year for NPR’s Morning Edition, Kerry James Marshall said this about his paintings: “The hope was always to make sure these works found their way into museums so they could exist alongside everything else that people go into museums to look at.” And they have, finally. Along with Marshall’s paintings, with their signature jet-black figures, those of other contemporary African-American artists like Whitfield Lovell, Ellen Gallagher, and presidential portraitists Amy Sherald and Kehinde Wiley can now rightfully be found in major galleries, museums, and other art institutions. This wasn’t always the case, of course, as African-American artists have often existed parallel to the established art world over the last two centuries, as recent exhibitions have sought to highlight. Tracing these artists in an alternative history that not only influences but also undergirds the works of Marshall, Lovell, Gallagher, and others is the subject of Jacques Goldstein’s 50-minute documentary Black Is the Color (2017).