Sargent Johnson: African-American Modernist

Foreword by Lori Fogarty; essays by Lizzetta LeFalle-Collins and Judith Wilson; additional texts by Gwendolyn Shaw

96 pages, 8 ¾ x 10 ¼ inches , softcover

Published in 1998

During a remarkable career spanning over forty years, Sargent Johnson (1888–1967) created a body of work that draws from a wide variety of sources and styles. Influenced by the New Negro movement and the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s, Johnson’s early sculptures explore issues of racial identity and reveal his interest in depicting what he called the “pure American Negro.” As he evolved as an artist, Johnson’s work began to incorporate a number of other influences, from the forms and tenets of European modernism to the more regional tradition of mural painting. Taken as a whole, his oeuvre reflects the extraordinary evolution of an individual artist as well as the vibrant, eclectic culture of the San Francisco Bay Area during the early decades of this century. Published in conjunction with the first comprehensive survey of Johnson’s career, this volume offers a thorough analysis of the artist’s stylistic development, with illustrations of over forty works – including sculptures, paintings, and works on paper – as well as essays examining the artist and his work in both regional and national contexts.

Published on the occasion of the exhibition Sargent Johnson: African-American Modernist, held at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (March 13–July 7, 1998)

ISBN 9780918471437 (softcover)