Fascinating rhythm, oh won’t you stop picking on me? The rollicking, roiling, wonderfully cacophonous variety of works in Youth and Beauty: Art of the American Twenties sent me diving deep into my record collection – I just had to hear what was going on at the time these paintings, sculptures, drawings, and photographs were being made. And the opportunity to put together a playlist for the pure enjoyment of it all was just impossible to resist.
Why were artists in the United States during the 1920s so fascinated by urban landscapes? Youth and Beauty: Art of the American Twenties, on view now through September 16, has an entire gallery dedicated to the ways its featured artists engaged with urban life. Planes, trains, skyscrapers, and factories provided subject matter, interestingly portrayed in ways that sought beauty and individuality from things that were at times considered visually unremarkable or anonymous.
In celebration of Black History Month, we take a look at three American artists of African descent with Cleveland ties.