Wadsworth Jarrell’s 1972 portrait Revolutionary
Five artist collectives are at the centre of a show organised by the Detroit Institute of Arts (Dia). The Art of Rebellion: Black Art of the Civil Rights Movement (23 July-22 October) includes 34 works by artists such as Wadsworth Jarrell, Elizabeth Catlett and Anthony Barboza, among others, who were variously members of groups such as Spiral and the Black Arts Movement collective in New York. “These artists were concerned with politically and socially oriented work dealing with race, which has only recently gained a platform in mainstream museums,” says Valerie Mercer, the curator of African-American art at Dia. “American art museums are still figuring out how to deal with race and politics, and that’s a problem in our culture,” she says. The show coincides with other city-wide events marking five decades since the 1967 Detroit riot.