This presentation revolves around Jones’s book South of Pico in which she explores how the artists in Los Angeles’s black communities during the 1960s and 1970s created a vibrant, productive, and engaged activist arts scene in the face of structural racism. Emphasizing the importance of African American migration, as well as L.A.’s housing and employment politics, Jones shows how the work of black Angeleno artists such as Betye Saar, Charles White, Noah Purifoy, and Senga Nengudi spoke to the dislocation of migration, L.A.’s urban renewal, and restrictions on black mobility. Jones characterizes their works as modern migration narratives that look to the past to consider real and imagined futures. She also attends to these artists’ relationships with gallery and museum culture and the establishment of black-owned arts spaces. With South of Pico, Jones expands the understanding of the histories of black arts and creativity in Los Angeles and beyond.
Dr. Kellie Jones is a Professor in Art History and Archaeology and a Faculty Fellow with the Institute for Research in African American Studies (IRAAS) at Columbia University. Her research interests include African American and African Diaspora artists, Latinx and Latin American Artists, and issues in contemporary art and museum theory.
The Vista Foundation supports both the pursuit of the study of art history and the School of Art at DAAP. The Foundation’s annual lecture is held each Fall and brings notable artists, art writers, art curators, and art historians to DAAP.