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In foreground, Jae Jarell’s Ebony Family, ca. 1968 (left) and Urban Wall Suit, ca. 1969 (right) on view in We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965–85 (Albright-Knox Art Gallery, February 17–May 27, 2018)

In foreground, Jae Jarell’s Ebony Family, ca. 1968 (left) and Urban Wall Suit, ca. 1969 (right) on view in We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965–85 (Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York, February 17–May 27, 2018). Photo by MK Photo.

We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965–85

Saturday, February 17, 2018
Sunday, May 27, 2018

1905 Building, North Galleries

Focusing on the work of black women artists, We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965–85 examines the political, social, cultural, and aesthetic priorities of women of color from the mid-1960s to the mid-1980s. It is the first exhibition to highlight the voices and experiences of women of color—distinct from the primarily white, middle-class mainstream feminist movement—in order to reorient conversations around race, feminism, political action, art production, and art history in this significant historical period. The exhibition features a wide array of work, including performance, film, and video art, as well as photography, painting, sculpture, and printmaking by a diverse group of artists and activists who lived and worked at the intersections of avant-garde art worlds and radical political movements.

Dindga McCannon's Revolutionary Sister, 1971

Dindga McCannon (American, born 1947). Revolutionary Sister, 1971. Mixed media construction on wood, 62 x 27 inches (157.5 x 68.6 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of R. M. Atwater, Anna Wolfrom Dove, Alice Fiebiger, Joseph Fiebiger, Belle Campbell Harriss, and Emma L. Hyde, by exchange, Designated Purchase Fund, Mary Smith Dorward Fund, Dick S. Ramsay Fund, and Carll H. de Silver Fund, 2012.80.32. © Dindga McCannon. (Photo: Jonathan Dorado, Brooklyn Museum).

Jan van Raay's photograph of Faith Ringgold (right) and Michele Wallace (middle) at Art Workers Coalition Protest, Whitney Museum, 1971

Jan van Raay (American, born 1942). Faith Ringgold (right) and Michele Wallace (middle) at Art Workers Coalition Protest, Whitney Museum, 1971. Courtesy of Jan van Raay, Portland, OR, 305-37. © Jan van Raay

Faith Ringgold's Early Works #25: Self-Portrait, 1965

Faith Ringgold (American, born 1930). Early Works #25: Self-Portrait, 1965. Oil on canvas, 50 x 40 inches (127 x 101.6 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Elizabeth A. Sackler, 2013.96. © 1965 Faith Ringgold. (Photo: Sarah DeSantis, Brooklyn Museum)

Still from Howardena Pindell's Free, White and 21, 1980

Howardena Pindell (American, born 1930). Still from Free, White and 21, 1980. Video, running time: 12 minutes, 15 seconds. Courtesy of the artist and Garth Greenan Gallery, New York. © Howardena Pindell

Installation view of Howardena Pindell's Free, White and 21, 1980, in Dialectics of Isolation: An Exhibition of Third World Women Artists of the United States at A.I.R. Gallery

Installation view of Howardena Pindell's Free, White and 21, 1980, in Dialectics of Isolation: An Exhibition of Third World Women Artists of the United States at A.I.R. Gallery (September 2–20, 1980). Running time: 12 minutes, 15 seconds. Courtesy of the artist and Garth Greenan Gallery, New York

Lorraine O’Grady's Mlle Bourgeoise Noire Goes to the New Museum, 1981

Lorraine O’Grady (American, born 1934). Mlle Bourgeoise Noire Goes to the New Museum, 1981. Performed at the New Museum, New York. Gelatin silver print, 9 1/4 x 7 inches (23.6 x 17.8 cm). Courtesy of Alexander Gray Associates. © 2017 Lorraine O’Grady / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Jae Jarrell's Ebony Family, ca. 1968

Jae Jarrell (American, born 1935). Ebony Family, ca. 1968. Velvet dress with velvet collage, 38 1/2 x 38 x 1/2 inches (97.8 x 96.5 x 1.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of R.M. Atwater, Anna Wolfrom Dove, Alice Fiebiger, Joseph Fiebiger, Belle Campbell Harriss, and Emma L. Hyde, by exchange, Designated Purchase Fund, Mary Smith Dorward Fund, Dick S. Ramsay Fund, and Carll H. de Silver Fund, 2012.80.15. © Jae Jarrell. (Photo: Sarah DeSantis, Brooklyn Museum).

1972 Exhibition Poster for Where We At Collective's Cookin' and Smokin'

Where We At Collective. Cookin' and Smokin', 1972. Offset printed poster, 14 x 11 inches (35.6 × 27.9 cm). Collection of David Lusenhop. Photo courtesy of Dindga McCannon Archives, Philadelphia, PA. © Dindga McCannon. (Photo: David Lusenhop)

Lorna Simpson's Waterbearer, 1986

Lorna Simpson (American, born 1960). Waterbearer, 1986. Gelatin silver print with vinyl lettering, 59 x 80 inches (149.9 x 203.2 cm). Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth. © Lorna Simpson

Betye Saar's Liberation of Aunt Jemima: Cocktail, 1973

Betye Saar (American, born 1926). Liberation of Aunt Jemima: Cocktail, 1973. Mixed-media assemblage, 12 x 18 inches (30.5 x 45.7 cm). Private collection. © Betye Saar, courtesy the artist and Roberts & Tilton, Culver City, California. (Photo: Jonathan Dorado, Brooklyn Museum)

Lona Foote's Blondell Cummings performing “Blind Dates” at Just Above Midtown Gallery, November 1982, 1982

Lona Foote (American, 1948–1993). Blondell Cummings performing “Blind Dates” at Just Above Midtown Gallery, November 1982, 1982. Photograph, 10 x 8 inches (25.4 x 20.3 cm). Special Collections and University Archives, Rutgers University Libraries. © Estate of Lona Foote, courtesy of Howard Mandel

Carrie Mae Weems's Mirror Mirror, 1987–88

Carrie Mae Weems (American, born 1953). Mirror Mirror, 1987–88. Silver print, 24 3/4 x 20 3/4 inches (62.9 x 52.7 cm). Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York. © Carrie Mae Weems

Lorna Simpson's Rodeo Caldonia (Left to Right: Alva Rogers, Sandye Wilson, Candace Hamilton, Derin Young, Lisa Jones), 1986

Lorna Simpson (American, born 1960). Rodeo Caldonia (Left to Right: Alva Rogers, Sandye Wilson, Candace Hamilton, Derin Young, Lisa Jones), 1986. Photographic print, 8 x 10 inches (20.3 x 25.4 cm). Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth. © Lorna Simpson 

Maren Hassinger's Leaning, 1980

Maren Hassinger (American, born 1947). Leaning, 1980. Wire and wire rope, 16 inches high with variable width and depth (40.7 cm high with variable width and depth). Courtesy of the artist. © Maren Hassinger. (Photo: Adam Avila)

Carrie Mae Weems's Family Reunion, 1978–84

Carrie Mae Weems (American, born 1953). Family Reunion, 1978–84. Gelatin silver print, 30 x 40 inches (76.2 x 101.6 cm) framed. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York. © Carrie Mae Weems

Pat Davis's “Where We At” Black Women Artists, 1980

Pat Davis (American, 1943–2017). “Where We At” Black Women Artists, 1980. Courtesy of the artist. © Estate of Pat Davis

The artists featured in the exhibition include Emma Amos, Camille Billops, Kay Brown, Linda Goode Bryant, Beverly Buchanan, Carole Byard, Elizabeth Catlett, Ayoka Chenzira, Christine Choy and Susan Robeson, Blondell Cummings, Julie Dash, Pat Davis, Jeff Donaldson, Maren Hassinger, Janet Henry, Virginia Jaramillo, Jae Jarrell, Wadsworth Jarrell, Lisa Jones, Loïs Mailou Jones, Barbara Jones-Hogu, Carolyn Lawrence, Samella Lewis, Dindga McCannon, Barbara McCullough, Ana Mendieta, Senga Nengudi, Lorraine O’Grady, Howardena Pindell, Faith Ringgold, Alva Rogers, Alison Saar, Betye Saar, Coreen Simpson, Lorna Simpson, Ming Smith, and Carrie Mae Weems.

The exhibition is organized at the Albright-Knox by Curatorial Fellow Andrea Alvarez and Curatorial Assistant Jasmine Magaña.

Admission to this special exhibition is Pay What You Wish on M&T FIRST FRIDAYS @ THE GALLERY.

Exhibition Sponsors

We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965–85 is organized by the Brooklyn Museum. 

This exhibition has been made possible at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery by Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

The Albright-Knox Art Gallery’s exhibition program is generously supported by The Seymour H. Knox Foundation, Inc.

Publication of the family guide has been made possible through the generosity of The MAK Fund. 

Additional support for educational components of this exhibition has been provided by a grant from the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo. 

Technical support has been provided by Advantage TI.

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