Richard PowellChercheur invité (septembre-octobre 2016)


Richard J. Powell (Ph.D., 1988, Yale University) is the John Spencer Bassett Professor of Art & Art History at Duke University. Along with teaching courses in American art, the arts of the African Diaspora, and contemporary visual studies, he has written extensively on topics ranging from primitivism to postmodernism.  Powell, a recognized authority on African American art and culture, has also helped organize numerous art exhibitions, most notably: The Blues Aesthetic: Black Culture and Modernism (1989); Rhapsodies in Black: Art of the Harlem Renaissance (1997); To Conserve A Legacy: American Art at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (1999); Back to Black: Art, Cinema, and the Racial Imaginary (2005); and Archibald Motley: Jazz Age Modernist (2014).  From 2007 until 2010, Powell was Editor-in-Chief of The Art Bulletin, the world’s leading English language journal in art history.  His current book project is on black visual satire, which will examine satirical cartoons, paintings, and films and videos by African American artists from the Harlem Renaissance to the present.

Bibliographie Abrégée

  • Richard J. Powell, “New Negroes, Harlem, and Jazz (1900-1950),” in The Image of the Black in Western Art, V, Part 2: The Twentieth Century, The Rise of Black Artists, eds. David Bindman and Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2014), 53-104, 310-313;
  • Richard J. Powell, “Herein Lie Buried Many Things: Screens, Entryways, and Cabinets in Twentieth-Century Black Visual Discourse,” in African American Art: Harlem Renaissance, Civil Rights Era and Beyond (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2012), 12-33;
  • Richard J. Powell, “Tanner and Transcendence” in Henry Ossawa Tanner: Modern Spirit, ed. Anna O. Marley (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2012), 56-65;
  • Richard J. Powell, "Paesaggio come evasion.  Soggezione e affrancamento nelle immagini ottocentesche de afroamericani," Pittura Americana del XIX secolo: Atti del convegno, ed. Marco Goldin and H. Barbara Weinberg (Treviso: Linea d'Ombra Libri, 2008), 116-136;
  • Richard J. Powell, Cutting a Figure: Fashioning Black Portraiture (Chicago: University of Chicago, 2008);
  • Richard J. Powell, Black Art: A Cultural History (London: Thames and Hudson, Ltd., 2002);
  • Richard J. Powell, Homecoming: The Art and Life of William H. Johnson (New York: W.W. Norton, 1991).

Project de Recherche: “Hervé Télémaque: Dissecting the Toads”

While in residence at the Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art, I would like to conduct research on what I refer to as Hervé Télémaque’s Banania works: paintings that incorporate racial stereotypes and, through his interrogations (or “dissections”) of various aspects of visual culture, present the racist logos as signs of modernity which, in a media-saturated age, disassemble over time.  “It is satire that kills the snake (or the stereotypic depiction),” stated Télémaque’s African American counterpart, painter Robert Colescott.  In contrast, Hervé Télémaque’s irony-infused paintings don’t so much “kill the snake” as they anatomize the rolling eyeballs, the engorged lips, and the toothy grins, turning these toady tropes into a sub-category of cyphers that, along with the illustrated advertisements, cartoon characters, and assorted typographies, brilliantly piece together a compendium of late 20th/early 21st century misrepresentations.


M. Powell, en dialogue avec Daniel Soutif, discutera de la prochaine exposition du musée du Quai Branly : The Color Line, le lundi 10 octobre à 18h à la Terra Foundation. Conférence publique ouverte à tous.