Gallery

What It Means To Be Black in America

A new art exhibition in Washington, D.C., explores the place where racial identity and national identity intersect.

On Oct. 1, Washington, D.C.’s Corcoran Gallery of Art will unveil a new exhibition called 30 Americans. But don’t let the name fool you—this is neither a traditional celebration of Americana nor a sampling of stuffy portraits. It’s a compilation of the most provocative artwork of the last decade by black artists. The Rubell family—the collectors who provided the artwork—left “African-American” out of the exhibition name for a reason: “Nationality is a statement of fact, while racial identity is a question each artist answers in his or her own way, or not at all,” the family said. The images in this slide show offer a sneak peak at some of the collection’s 76 drawings, sculptures, photographs, paintings, and videos, all of which explore the theme of black identity in America.

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