What I'm Reading Right Now - Four Generations: The Joyner/Giuffrida Collection of Abstract Art

As some of you know, Philippe and I collect contemporary art from the African Diaspora.  In fact we had a piece of art delivered just this week that involved a crane, but I'll share that story in another post.

Four Generations: The Joyner/Giuffrida Collection of Abstract Art is a splendid catalog showcasing the 300 plus works by African American, Afro-Caribbean and African artists. Edited by Courtney J Martin an assistant professor of art & architecture at Brown University, Four Generations includes scholarly contributions from leading artists, writers and curators who discuss and dissect the complex history of black art and its place in wider society.  Works by such distinguished artists as Sam Gilliam, Norman Lewis, Mark Bradford, Glen Ligon, Theaster Gates, Julie Mehretu and Lynette Yiadom Boakye are well represented in this significant and highly regarded collection.

Interestingly, a large portion of the couple's collection is dedicated to expressionist art. During the 1970s and 1980s when black art was recognized more for it's figurative works depicting domestic life, Sam Gilliam broke the mold by concentrating on expressionist art.  As Pamela explains, "Given the political backdrop for African Americans during those years the fact that Sam Gilliam defied expectations and worked for decades only in abstraction is really subversive." 

A dedicated collector and supporter of the arts, Pamela is a trustee of the Art Institute of Chicago, Tate Americas Foundation and was also on former President Obama's Committee of the Arts and Humanities.  

African Diaspora artists are finally receiving long overdue recognition and acquiring blue-chip status.  Jean-Michel Basquiat's Untitled (1982) earlier this year sold for a stratospheric $110.4 millions at the Sothebys auction, becoming the highest auction price ever for an American artist.  This sale surpasses the previous auction record held by Andy Warhol of $104 million for Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster) (1963).

Another significant African American artist Kerry James Marshall's critically acclaimed and wildly successful 35-year retrospective Mastry: began at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA) and traveled to the Metropolitan Museum Met Breuer New York and Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles (MOCA). Read my post on the Kerry James Marshall exhibit at the Met Breuer here.

Photography is from Four Generations: The Joyner/Giuffrida Collection of Abstract Art

What I'm Reading Right Now - Four Generations: The Joyner/Giuffrida Collection - Doreen Chambers Interior Design Brooklyn, New York, South Florida
No Key, No Question (2013) by Shinique Smith

No Key, No Question (2013) by Shinique Smith

Majesty (2012) by Shinique Smith

Majesty (2012) by Shinique Smith

Afternoon (1969) by Norman Lewis

Afternoon (1969) by Norman Lewis

No Time To Expand The Sea (2014) by Mark Bradford

No Time To Expand The Sea (2014) by Mark Bradford

Lead Belly (2012) by Mark Bradford

Lead Belly (2012) by Mark Bradford

Forever chic Pamela Joyner "is the Diana Ross of the art world" quipped artist Isaac Julien Photo by Linda Nylind

Forever chic Pamela Joyner "is the Diana Ross of the art world" quipped artist Isaac Julien

Photo by Linda Nylind

Untitled (1982) by Jean-Michel Basquiat sold at auction in May for $110.4 million, zooming past Andy Warhol to become the highest auction price ever for an American artist

Untitled (1982) by Jean-Michel Basquiat sold at auction in May for $110.4 million, zooming past Andy Warhol to become the highest auction price ever for an American artist