In celebration of Miami Art Week 2018, the Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami (MOCA) will present a groundbreaking exhibition celebrating the founding of AfriCOBRA – the black artist collective that defined the visual aesthetic of the Black Arts Movement of the 1960’s and 1970’s. 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the collective which came out of Chicago.
In 1968, artists Jeff Donaldson, Jae Jarrell, Wadsworth Jarrell, Barbara Jones-Hogu, and Gerald Williams founded AfriCOBRA, which stands for African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists. AfriCOBRA’s visual language is defined by the use of text, bright “Coolade” colors, dynamic, gestural markings, and raw, emotive, celebratory images of confident black figures. The vision these artists created went on to define the aesthetic of the Black Arts Movement. This historic exhibition will explore the founders’ individual careers and the artists who exhibited with them between 1968-1973 as well as how AfriCOBRA’s philosophy manifested into their works as a group.
Exhibiting artists include Sherman Beck, Jeff Donaldson, Jae Jarrell, Wadsworth Jarrell, Napoleon Jones-Henderson, Barbara Jones-Hogu, Omar Lama, Carolyn Lawrence, Nelson Stevens and Gerald Williams. The AfriCOBRA artists incorporate processes such as painting, printmaking, textile design, dress designs, photography and sculpture with visual elements such as bright colors, the human figure, the lost and found line, lettering, and images which identifies the social, economic and political conditions of this ethnic group.