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A black and white triangle to our left floats against a black background, and a black and white strip extends from the triangle at the center of the composition to our right in this abstract horizontal painting. The triangle to our left is set so the long edge, across from a right angle, cuts across the lower left corner of the canvas, extending off both edges. This main triangle is filled with black and white curved, straight, and angled lines in shapes reminiscent of letters and symbols. Similar marks fill the narrow strip that spans the right half of the painting, connecting the right angle of the triangle with the right edge of the canvas. The area behind the triangle and strip is flat black.

Norman Lewis, Untitled (Alabama), 1967, oil on canvas, Gift of the Collectors Committee, 2009.45.1

Activism and Abstraction: “Untitled (Alabama)” by Norman Lewis

In honor of African American History Month

  • Wednesday, February 19, 2020
  • 12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.
  • East Building Atrium

Norman Lewis’s life spanned the Harlem Renaissance, the civil rights movement, and the emergence of black power and activist art. This talk will use Untitled (Alabama) to explore his turn to abstract art to express the persistence of racial inequity—and fight against it.

Jennifer Riddell, lecturer