South of Pico: African American Artists in Los Angeles in the 1960s and 1970s

Department: Film and Media Studies

Date and Time: October 24, 2017 | 4:00 PM-7:00 PM

Event Location: Humanities Gateway 1030

Event Details

South of Pico: African American Artists in Los Angeles in the 1960s and 1970s

Lecture by Dr. Kellie Jones, Associate Professor of Art History at Columbia University, and MacArthur Genius Fellow.   Dr. Jones will read from and discuss her forthcoming book South of Pico:  African American Artists in Los Angeles in the 1960s and 1970s.  She will delineate how the artists in Los Angeles's black communities during the 1960s and 1970s created a vibrant, productive, and engaged activist arts scene in the face of structural racism. Integrating histories of African American migration, as well as L.A.'s housing and employment politics, Dr. Jones describes the work of black Angelino artists such as Betye Saar, Charles White, Noah Purifoy, and Senga Nengudi in order to discuss the dislocation of migration, L.A.'s urban renewal, and restrictions on black mobility. Dr. Jones characterizes their works as modern migration narratives that look to the past to consider real and imagined futures.  With this lecture drawing from South of Pico, Dr. Jones delves into the histories of black arts and creativity in Los Angeles and beyond.

After the lecture, Dr. Jones will have a question and answer period, as well as a reception.

Sponsored by Illuminations: The Chancellor's Arts & Culture Initiative, the Department of Film and Media Studies, and the Department of African American Studies. Free and open to the public.


Dr. Kellie Jones is Associate Professor in Art History and Archaeology and the Institute for Research in African American Studies (IRAAS) at Columbia University. Her research interests include African American and African Diaspora artists, Latinx and Latin American Artists, and issues in contemporary art and museum theory.

Dr. Jones has received numerous awards for her work from the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research, Harvard University; Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant and a term as Scholar-in-Residence at the Terra Foundation for American Art in Europe in Giverny, France. In 2016 she was named a MacArthur Fellow.

Dr. Jones’s writings have appeared in exhibition catalogues and such journals as NKA, Artforum, Flash Art, Atlantica, and Third Text.  She is the author of two books published by Duke University Press, EyeMinded: Living and Writing Contemporary Art (2011), and South of Pico: African American Artists in Los Angeles in the 1960s and 1970s (2017).

Dr. Jones has also worked as a curator for over three decades and has numerous major national and international exhibitions to her credit.  Her exhibition “Now Dig This! Art and Black Los Angeles, 1960-1980,” at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, was named one of the best exhibitions of 2011 and 2012 by Artforum, and best thematic show nationally by the International Association of Art Critics (AICA). She was co-curator of “Witness: Art and Civil Rights in the 1960s” (Brooklyn Museum), named one the best exhibitions of 2014 by Artforum.

This browser does not support PDFs. Please download the PDF to view it: Download South of Pico.