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Jan 25, 2011 4:51 PM by Press Release

LSU Art Museum Celebrating African-American Abstract Art

The LSU Museum of Art, located in the Shaw Center for the Arts in downtown Baton Rouge, will open "Beyond Black: Ed Clark, Eugene Martin and John T. Scott" on Sunday, Jan. 30. With more than 50 works on display, this exceptional exhibition showcases never-before-seen paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures and collages from private and public collections across the nation.

"Beyond Black" is the LSU Museum of Art's first exhibit recognizing the contributions of Louisiana's African-American artists who rose to the challenge of abstract art. Though overlooked in their time, the perseverance of Clark, Martin and Scott and their varied output has made a vibrant mark on American art history.

"Modern artists - abstract expressionists, geometric abstractionists, minimalists - have been studied by numerous scholars and art institutions, but the contributions of African-American abstract artists have been widely overlooked, specifically those from, or working in, Southern states," said Natalie Mault, curator at the LSU Museum of Art. "Clark, Martin and Scott were among the first African-American artists to test the language of abstract art. They represent a core group of artists from the immediate area that explored unique visual languages to express their artistic freedom."

The works of Clark, Martin and Scott are uniquely linked to one another through their innovative artistic approaches and their unquenchable desire to create as a definition of self-identity. They dedicated themselves to experimentation of structure, style and materials. From Clark's gestural brush-stroke paintings, to Martin's vivid biomorphic mixed-media canvases, to the vibrantly colored three-dimensional work of Scott, "Beyond Black" highlights a selection of works by artists who worked in the tradition of free-form abstraction since its modernization in the 1940s and 1950s.

"One of the greatest joys of museum work is to rediscover or redefine the works of artists who deserve greater renown and whose gifts promise to captivate new audiences," stated Tom Livesay, director of the LSU Museum of Art. "It is our hope that this exhibition will deepen existing appreciation of these three artists among those already conversant with them and become a revelation for those who are less familiar."

The works will be recognized from Jan. 30 through May 8

The LSU Museum of Art is proud to partner with the New Orleans African-American Museum in Tremé on programming, events and as a venue with additional paintings by Martin, and with the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities in New Orleans, a venue with additional works on display by Scott. "Beyond Black" is sponsored by AT& T Louisiana and Charles E. Schwing.

It is impossible to encompass the revolutionary movement of American abstraction without the works of Clark, Martin and Scott. Come view artworks that are characterized by high-energy color and a bold physicality that refused to be overlooked.

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