Tate Modern presents: Soul of a Nation

Soul of a Nation shines a bright light on the vital contribution of Black artists to a dramatic period in American art and history

Did The Bear Sit Under A Tree - By Benny Andrews, 1969

The show opens in 1963 at the height of the Civil Rights movement and its dreams of integration. In its wake emerged more militant calls for Black Power: a rallying cry for African American pride, autonomy and solidarity, drawing inspiration from newly independent African nations. 

Artists responded to these times by provoking, confronting, and confounding expectations. Their momentum makes for an electrifying visual journey. Vibrant paintings, powerful murals, collage, photography, revolutionary clothing designs and sculptures made with Black hair, melted records, and tights – the variety of artworks reflects the many viewpoints of artists and collectives at work during these explosive times.  

Some engage with legendary figures from the period, with paintings in homage to political leaders Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and Angela Davis, musician John Coltrane and sporting hero Jack Johnson. Muhammad Ali appears in Andy Warhol’s famous painting.  
This landmark exhibition is a rare opportunity to see era-defining artworks that changed the face of art in America.

Tate Modern
Plan your visit


12 July – 22 October 2017

TV report:

Art in the age of black power

Published on 12 Jul 2017
Soul of a Nation, a new exhibition of US civil rights era art, opens at the Tate Modern in London and is set to tour the U.S. next year.

Have a look at:

The Ancestors Came by Cecile Emeke

Published on 24 Jul 2017
Cecile Emeke’s film celebrates the life of artist and writer Faith Ringgold and the influence of her childhood in Harlem on her work.


A Diamond in A Box – William T Williams by Andy Mundy Castle

Uploaded on 12 Jul 2017
We visit abstract painter William T Williams as he works on a new piece in his Connecticut studio.

Andy Mundy-Castle directs a film profile of abstract painter William T Williams with a sneak-peak into his Manhattan and Connecticut studios.

William T Williams has two canvases on display in the Tate Modern exhibition Soul of A Nation: Art in the Name of Black Power Trane (1969) and Nu Nile (1973).


More soon.

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