About this artwork
Barbara Jones was a founding member of AfriCOBRA (African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists), a Chicago-based organization of black artists started in 1968. Unite is a consummate example of the AfriCOBRA ethos because it embodies all of the group’s visual and theoretical ideals. It shows a group of Black Americans making the recognizable Black Power salute, thus communicating an expressive humanism while depicting a fight for cultural liberation. Layered on top of the strong verticals of the raised arms, the word UNITE appears repeatedly in striking block letters that fit together like syncopated pieces of a puzzle. The words alternate in both size and color, creating an effect of symmetry and luminosity.
Many of the artists in AfriCOBRA had previously belonged to the Visual Workshop of OBAC (Organization of Black American Culture), which had created the Wall of Respect in Chicago in 1967. The AfriCOBRA group focused on creating a Black art movement that would positively impact the cultural lives of Black people around the world. They believed that the identity of the group was more important than that of the individual. Their work was specific and functional, and expressed statements about the artists’ existence as Black people, often integrating pointed text with their images.
- Currently Off View
- Prints and Drawings
- Barbara Jones
- Unite (AfriCOBRA)
- United States (Artist's nationality:)
- Color screenprint on ivory wove paper
- Image: 57.2 × 76.2 cm (22 9/16 × 30 in.); Sheet: 66 × 85.2 cm (26 × 33 9/16 in.)
- Gift of Judy and Patrick Diamond