AFRICOBRA®
    2018 is the fiftieth year since the beginning of AFRICOBRA in
    Chicago, Illinois.   The South and West sides of the city were alive in
    1968 with the energy of social change and political upheaval.  As was
    the case throughout the United States, the Black consciousness
    movement which had been growing for a decade, captured the
    imaginations of a broad spectrum of the population.  In the arts, Black
    identity and Black is beautiful were watchwords that bound many
    individuals into a collective force that began many journeys toward re-
    discovering our ancestral heritage, toward capturing the electricity of
    the present, and toward unlocking the keys to survival in the future.

    AFRICOBRA began very loosely in 1968 as an association of visual
    artists. We decided to commit our selves to the collective exploration,
    development, and perpetuation of an approach to image making which
    would reflect and project the moods, attitudes, and sensibilities of
    African Americans independent of the technical and aesthetic
    strictures of Euro-centric modalities.  Jeff Donaldson, who
    spearheaded the movement,Wadsworth Jarrell, Jae Jarrell, Barbara
    Jones-Hogu, and myself, Gerald Williams opened the lid on what we
    called AFRICOBRA - African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists.  It was
    an original name that came to identify our place within the broader
    context of Black art.

    Our mission was to encapsulate the quintessential features of African-
    American consciousness and world view as reflected in real time 1968
    terms.  For months, beginning as early as 1967, we examined and
    talked about the forms of expression and images produced by
    previous generations of artists.  We came to the realization that there
    was not the existence of a consistent, unequivocal, uniquely Black
    aesthetic in visual arts as there was in other disciplines, notably
    music and dance. Many of our contemporary artists, at the time,
    generally said that they "were artists who happened to be black", or
    held the view that their work was expressing universal ideas or
    concepts that were not tied to such a narrow category as Black art.   
    The notion of an intrinsically Black view point, expressed in
    characteristically “Black ways”  was a relatively alien idea for the
    most part.  That notion begged the question as to whether it was
    possible to create a style or approach to art that at its core could be
    identified as African-American or Black, notwithstanding  the presence
    of Black imagery or subject matter.  If imagery and subject matter
    were the sole criteria then the question was moot.  One could
    conclude, thereby, that Winslow Homer or any number of artists
    produced Black art when they painted Black images.  After numerous
    brain storming sessions where such topics were discussed, after test
    projects and critiques,  the five of us mapped out the core principles
    that became the foundation of AFRICOBRA.

    This website is established to further the conversation, to expand the
    knowledge, and to increase the understanding of the ideals and the history
    of  AFRICOBRA®.


Gerald Williams
AFRICOBRA, CO-FOUNDER  Jan 2010

            
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FEATURED ARTISTS
MOCA Museum of Contemporary Art
North Miami, Fl
AFRICOBRA:Messages to the People
Nov 27 to Apr 7 2019
Kavi Gupta Gallery  Chicago, Illinois  
AFRICOBRA 50
Oct  27 to Nov 27 2018
Smart Museum of Art
University of Chicago
The Time is Now
Sep 13 2018 to Dec 30 2018
Brooklyn Museum of Art
"Soul of a Nation"
Sep 14 2018 to Feb 3 2019
The Met Breuer
"Everything is Connected"
Sep 18 2018 to January 6, 2019
PRESS AND MEDIA
ART BASIL
Miami Beach, Florida

Kavi Gupta Gallery  Booth A17
December 6-9 2018

See You There!
New York Times:
soul of a nation
CURRENT AND RECENT EVENTS
VIDEO
The Art Newspaper:
MOCA PHOTOS
OPENING RECEPTION PHOTOS
DECEMBER 5, 2018