Black Artists Claim Their Birthright of Abstraction

Ashanté Kindle, “The Crown” (2020). acrylic and spackle on canvas, 120 x 120 inches. Photo courtesy of False Flag Gallery.

Co-curated by the artist Tariku Shiferaw and curator and artist Ayanna Dozier, Abstraction in Black Diaspora is on view through December 20, 2020, at False Flag Gallery in Queens, New York. The exhibition features Black artists from across the African diaspora who claim abstraction when creating works of art that reflect Black life and culture. Seph Rodney, for Hyperallergic, discusses the exhibition and shares thoughts on the power of Black artists using abstraction.

“It is one thing to assert one’s right to something and quite another to act as though it already belongs to you . . . Too often in the art scene, essays of overwrought and labored scholarly argumentation are produced to prove that work legitimately belongs to a movement or genre. Here, the work palpably validates the artists’ birthright claim because they act from that place of ownership.” - Seph Rodney