The Ashcan Circle, perhaps more so than any other collection of U.S. modernist artists, is almost synonymous with the notion of realism: urban, gender, classed, labored, ethnic, and yes, even racial realism specifically. Yet what can it mean that the dialogues of this most “real” visual production have been quiet to serious engagement with Blackness? In this virtual ARTbreak talk, Dr. Alexis L. Boylan considers that the implications of realism have been weaponized in Ashcan art and U.S. visual culture, in order to silence and disperse Blackness with an obliterating obsession with whiteness.
Dr. Boylan is a professor with a joint appointment in the Art and Art History Department and the Africana Studies Institute at the University of Connecticut. She is the author of Visual Culture (MIT Press, 2020) and Ashcan Art, Whiteness, and the Unspectacular Man (Bloomsbury Academic, 2017).
This talk will go live on our YouTube page at noon on Feb. 20! Please note that the talk is prerecorded, and Dr. Boylan will not be present with us in real time to answer questions.