Archibald Motley: Jazz Age Modernist was edited by Richard J. Powell with contributions from Davarian L. Baldwin, David C. Driskell, Oliver Meslay, Amy M. Mooney, Richard J. Powell, and Ishmael Reed
Archibald Motley: Jazz Age Modernist accompanies the first full-scale survey of the work of Archibald Motley at LACMA
, a full-scale survey of one the most important artists of the Harlem Renaissance, features the painter's visual examination of African American culture during the Jazz Age.
Archibald John Motley, Jr., was an American painter, master colorist, and radical interpreter of urban culture. Among twentieth-century American artists, Motley is surely one of the most important and, paradoxically, also one of the most enigmatic. Born in New Orleans in 1891, Motley spent the first half of the twentieth century living and working in a predominately white neighborhood on Chicago's South Side, just blocks away from the city's burgeoning black community. During his formative years, Chicago's African American population increased dramatically, and he was both a witness to and a visual chronicler of that expansion. In 1929 he won a Guggenheim Fellowship, which funded a critical year of study in France, where he painted Blues and other memorable pictures of Paris. In the 1950s, Motley made several lengthy visits to Mexico, where his nephew, the well-known novelist Willard F. Motley, lived. While there, Motley created vivid depictions of Mexican life and landscapes. He died in Chicago in 1981.
Motley's brilliant yet idiosyncratic paintings—simultaneously expressionist and social realist—have captured worldwide attention with their rainbow-hued, syncopated compositions.
- Softbound only
- 176 pages, 11 x 9 x .5 in.
- 140 color illustrations