Portrayals of Black Community

Curated by Melanie Edmunds, Artsy’s Associate Director of Secondary Market Galleries

The year 2020 laid bare America’s reckoning with racial injustice. The world had no choice but to pay attention to the cries of the country’s Black community in its continued quest for freedom, equality, and justice. Since the Black Lives Matter movement gained strength and impact last summer, images of Black pain, trauma, and suffering have often been the focus of the media’s narratives around the Black community. Meanwhile, images that tell the magnificent stories of Black hope, power, and resilience remain largely absent from the conversation. 

In honor of Black History Month this year, Artsy is pleased to present an online group show of artworks that celebrate the Black community, amplifying Black artists who have contributed to the aesthetic traditions of America by using their artistic practices to empower, inspire, and illuminate the Black experience and perspective. 

This curated selection of works challenges contemporary portrayals of the Black community while examining the many facets of Black life and identity. Depicting images of Black love, joy, innocence, family, and male affection, these works bear witness to the richness and beauty of the Black community and serve as a reminder of why Black Humanity Matters. 

From Gordon Parks’s groundbreaking photography and Faith Ringgold’s textiles to Yashua Klos’s woodblock prints and June Edmonds’s paintings, this show highlights works by modern and contemporary artists whose artistic practices are rooted in concern for the condition of the Black community. Their works continue to serve as a catalyst for discourse on the Black experience in America. 

This is based on the artwork’s average dimension.