Category: In the Round

This special section of Panorama entitled “Riff: African American Artists and the European Canon” is an outgrowth of an Association for Critical Race Art History panel of the same name that took place at the annual meeting of the College Art Association in 2017. The five essays included in this section offer nuanced readings of artists spanning nearly a century, whose engagement with European art and artistic tradition vary from full-throated adulation to subtle and unspoken resonances.

Considering the era of its making—the decade of the Vietnam War and resistance to it in many national capitals, anti-government protests across the globe, and both nonviolent and armed uprisings against institutional discrimination and social inequity—Mauritius provokes questions about human conflicts, their histories, and their costs.

Throughout his more than four-decade-long career in the arts, Brooker has created a distinctive artistic language that calls out to viewers to not only look at his work as arrangements of patterns, colors, and shapes on canvas or paper, but also as investigations into the divine.

These papers, drawn from our cochaired session, The Gustatory Turn in American Art, at the College Art Association 2017 Annual Conference, illustrate how artists and viewers have used the platform of food to investigate connections between aesthetics and social politics. Contributors include Katherine Manthorne, Aileen Tsui, Lauren Freese, and Margaretta Lovell.

Consider the humble raisin. In a world where foodstuffs are increasingly dissociated from their place of origin, why does the raisin continue to be associated with one locale, when they are in fact grown globally, from Chile and Argentina to Turkey? We should ask why when we “think raisins” do we “think California,” as an oft-repeated advertising mantra instructs us?