The Image of the Black in Western Art. Vol. 5, Pt. 1: The Twentieth Century; The Impact of Africa

Belknap: Harvard Univ. 2014. 320p. ed. by David Bindman & Jr. illus. notes. index. ISBN 9780674052673. $95. FINE ARTS
OrangeReviewStarThe latest volume in this now half-century-old continuing publication is the first of two on the art of the 20th century. Three themes—"Photography, Popular Imagery, Anthropology, and Racial Theory," "Europe and 'The Primitive,' " and "Beyond Europe: The Caribbean and Latin America"—structure essays by several international academic authors on specific media, topics, or geographic areas as well as particular artists, such as Pablo Picasso, and their encounters with and portrayals of Africans in their art. The writing is clear and accessible in this well-illustrated, scholarly volume that's also suitable for a broader audience. Much of the material covered here, particularly on photography and on non-European representations, will be new to most readers.
VERDICT Both a reflection of its evolving times and an agent in their evolution, this title is appropriate for both academic and public library collections.
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