Diaspora-Artists logo

Jacob Lawrence: article in The Studio magazine 1961

Article relating to an individual, 1961
Published by: The Studio
Year published: 1961
Number of pages: 2

image of Jacob Lawrence: article in The Studio magazine 1961

Published in 1961, this appreciation of Jacob Lawrence opens with sentiments that reflect the problematic ways in which Black artists have been framed and discussed throughout much of the 20th century. Written by Clifford Wright, this feature (that appeared in The Studio magazine, Vol. 161, No. 813, January 1961, pages 26/27) opened with, “Even if it rightly irritates and hurts artists who happen to be negro to be described as ‘the best negro artist’ as though there were two standards, one for whites and a lower one for negroes, I want to use this designation for Jacob Lawrence. He is exactly that - the best negro painter in the U.S.A. and it is not beside the point to emphasize his race, for his works treat the life of the negro in U.S.A. in a fantastic yet deeply convincing way and in a pure and extremely precise style.”

The appreciation was accompanied by three monochrome reproductons of Lawrence’s paintings; one piece from Lawrence’s The Migration of the Negro series, 1940/1, The Pool Player, 1956 and Night After Night, 1952.

Wright’s piece concludes, “In these days of promise for American art (in 1958 an American artist, Mark Tobey, was awarded the Grand Prix of the Venice Biennale for the first time since Whistler) Jacob Lawrence is one of the brilliant talents of American art. His works are as fresh as ever, his subjects are still painfully topical, but most important is his compassion that is above the topical and the personal - something universal and eternal in the description of the small and limited and mortal.”

Related people

»  Jacob Lawrence

Born, 1917 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Died, 2000