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About the Author

Darby English is the Carl Darling Buck Professor of Art History at the University of Chicago. He is the author of How to See a Work of Art in Total Darkness.


"More than a study of African American engagement with modernist aesthetics, Darby English's 1971: A Year in the Life of Color is an intelligent and provocative call for the necessity of abstraction, idiosyncrasy, and unexpected forms of rebellion in the production of art and the development of cultural studies. English crosses the most sacrosanct ideological boundaries as he argues for the necessity of untamed and previously unimagined forms of creativity."--Robert F. Reid-Pharr, CUNY Graduate Center
"1971: A Year in the Life of Color is a powerful, polemical, and much-needed work. It forces us to rethink the terms of politics and abstraction, African American art, representation, and modernism in a way that is at once historically rigorous and theoretically expansive, no small thing indeed."--Pamela M. Lee, Stanford University
"What is more urgently demanded, for current art and its histories, than the rethinking of how activism, identity, and art interact? Perhaps only an understanding of the particular complexity of black American identity, which in 1971: A Year in the Life of Color reveals a radical oppositionality within modernism that many had already given up on. Profoundly lucid, intensely felt, archivally deep, and utterly persuasive, English's book reorients our understanding of both that time and our own."--Rachel Haidu, University of Rochester
"1971 clears space for art historians, curators, and cultural producers to complicate black artists' participation in modernism as a multicultural process, not as a separate or oppositional endeavor. . . . [This book] captures quite concretely a shared moment in the art world when color defied any singular narrative."--Hyperallergic

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