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Artist Inspiration- Black Art: In the Absence of Light

This full and complex documentary is difficult to describe briefly and appropriately in words, which makes watching it the ultimate source of inspiration and food for thought.

Gabrielle Bruney's words, however, help capture a sense of the complexity and power of the focus on the film. She notes that "in the catalogue for his 1976 show “Two Centuries of Black American Art,” professor David Driskell wrote: 'It is the aim of this exhibition to make available a more accurate compendium of a body of work that should never have been kept a separate entity.'"

She goes on to highlight some of the criticism of the '76 show while also issuing a response that, again, captures the complexity of Driskell's work and the artists included in the exhibition; "But the aesthetic diversity that this critic failed to appreciate was in fact at the heart of the show’s strength—it employed “Black art” as a significant social category without insisting upon a monolithic Black artistic style."

Watch the film, and check out the full read in Gabrielle Bruney's article New HBO Documentary Connects Black Art’s Rich History and Vibrant Present for insight into the context, content, and creation of Sam Pollard's documentary, which was released on February 9th.

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