Artwork of the Week – Aaron Douglas

Aaron Douglas Aspiration 1936 © Estate of Aaron Douglas, Courtesy Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco


Liverpool artwork of the week 2010-6. ‘Aspiration’ (1936) by Aaron Douglas in ‘Afro Modern: Journeys Through the Black Atlantic’ at Tate Liverpool 29 January – 25 April 2010

This is the first picture in this excellent exhibition and one of my favourites.

The Harlem Renaissance artist Aaron Douglas can be seen as a foundational figure of Black Atlantic modernism. In his paintings, Douglas depicted African heritage as a source of pride, and modern African-American life as a focus for aspiration. He also created illustrations for the magazine The Crisis, embodying founding editor W.E.B. Du Bois’s idea that African-Americans lived in a state of double-consciousness: ‘It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others…’

Afro Modern at Tate Liverpool


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