Yale School of Art exhibit explores the ‘pulp’ challenge to racial injustice

A new exhibition at the Yale School of Art (YSA) explores the creative use of printed media and artwork to challenge racist narratives and change limited notions of black experience in America.

“Black Pulp!” features 65 objects, including rare magazines, literary journals, novels, cartoons, and comics, as well as contemporary art from the Black Diaspora. It tells a story of black and non-black artists and publishers working together over 90 years to draw attention to the black experience, rebuff Jim Crow politics, and refute racist caricatures.

The exhibition — curated by artist William Villalongo, a lecturer at YSA, and YSA alumnus Mark Thomas Gibson, ’13 M.F.A. — will be on view Jan. 19–March 11 at the YSA’s 32 Edgewood Avenue Gallery in New Haven. It is free and open to the public from noon to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays.

“The pulp attitude is to take the tragic and painful points of history, like Jim Crow and the Vietnam War, and challenge them through biting humor, satire, and wit,” says Villalongo. “Many works on view offer up windows into the darker, erotic, satirical, and more absurd recesses of the black popular imagination, while underscoring important debates around personhood and identity.”

The exhibition features influential Harlem Renaissance-era periodicals, such as The Crisisand Opportunity magazines, and rare art journals, such as Fire!! and Ebony & Topaz. It includes contributions from Emory University’s Stuart A. Rose Library, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the Library of Congress, and Yale University Art Gallery. (READ MORE)

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