The Art of Richard Mayhew

A Critical Analysis with Interviews


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About the Book

African American and American Indian artist Richard Mayhew was a pivotal member of the movement, headed by Romare Bearden, of the most important black artists of the Abstract Expressionist era. Bearden’s group, Spiral, was formed as a visual response to the March on Washington. Mayhew associated with Jackson Pollock, Robert Motherwell, and Bearden, and formed alliances with such African American artists as Faith Ringgold, Norman Lewis, Ed Clark, and Emma Amos; his work is exhibited in major collections and museums throughout the world. This book explores his art and discusses the critical exclusion from the history of art of Native Americans and African Americans who are not figurative or “narrative” and creates a framework for reconsideration of such art.

About the Author(s)

Janet Berry Hess teaches African, African American, and American Indian culture and gender studies at the Hutchins School of Liberal Studies, Sonoma State University.

Bibliographic Details

Janet Berry Hess
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 264
Bibliographic Info: 50 photos (34 in color), notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2014
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6050-2
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0242-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi

Preface 1

Introduction 3

Part I: The Life and Art

One: Origins, Influence and Diaspora 9

Two: “Shadows in the Trees”: Art Movements and Critical Reception 39

Three: “He Just Came Off the Reservation”: Native and African American Art and the Civil Rights Movement 60

Four: “Forty, Forty, Forty”: Creative Consciousness, Landscape and the Sense of “Place” 77

Between pages 88 and 89 are 12 plates containing 33 color images

Five: Collectors and Students 89

Part II: Interviews

Six: Conversations, 2003–2007 109

Seven: Mayhew on Selected Topics, 2012 210

Afterword 231

Chapter Notes 233

Bibliography 239

Index 241