- Hardcover: 192 pages
- Publisher: Harry N. Abrams; 1st edition (January 1, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0810944847
- ISBN-13: 978-0810944848
- Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 0.9 x 10.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,687,491 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Testimony: Vernacular Art of the African-American South: The Ronald and June Shelp Collection Hardcover – January 1, 2002
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From Library Journal
Once categorized as folk but more recently described as outsider or vernacular, the work of essentially self-taught artists has gained in reputation and value in the last half-century. Testimony is the catalog for a traveling exhibition organized by the Schomberg Center for Research in Black Culture that features 27 Southern African American vernacular painters and sculptors whose artwork is part of the Ronald and June Shelp Collection. Some of the featured artists are well known in the field, including Thornton Dial Jr., who appeared in the 2000 Whitney Biennial. Preceding the biographical information and catalog entries, which are accompanied by portraits of the artists and color reproductions of the objects in the exhibition, are a series of essays by leading scholars on this subject. Besides providing social, art historical, and interpretive commentary on the collection, several essays raise intriguing issues regarding the changing views of the concept of folk, outsider, and vernacular art in contemporary criticism. Although sometimes pedantic, this book can be recommended to any library with an interest in art or African American studies. Eugene C. Burt, Data Arts, Seattle
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
The more attention art historians and critics pay to "outsider" or "vernacular" art, the fuzzier the boundaries become between "in" and "out." Contemporary art is all about going beyond the quotidian to illuminate the deepest reaches of the human condition; it has nothing to do with college degrees or artistic movements and ultimately transcends race, class, and geography. Interest in the work of self-taught African American artists living and working in the South has increased rapidly of late, recognition affirmed and bolstered by this expert consideration of 27 phenomenally talented artists. So potent and evocative are the sculptures and paintings shown here that without the prompting of commentary, the word vernacular wouldn't come to mind, a fact Arthur C. Danto elucidates with his signature verve in his clarion essay, "The End of the Outsider." Danto's is one of five insightful discussions that launch the body of the book, in which vibrant, beautifully reproduced works by such inspired artists as Thorton Dial Sr., Lonnie Holley, and Ronald Lockett are accompanied by biographical profiles. Donna Seaman
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