3 African-American artists that you should know in addition to Basquiat

3 African-American artists that you should know in addition to Basquiat

Although many love Basquiat's work, it is true that some equal or more talented African-American artists have been forgotten. And the famous child prodigy Jean Michel Basquiat was not the only African-American artist. A countless number of African-American artists dabbled in painting, sculpture and letters.

They have probably been left in the shadow of the son of Brooklyn because of his extreme popularity and his friendships with artists like Andy Warhol. However, it is time to look and remember your works. As they would say: honor to whom honor deserves.

Besides, it's time to talk about those talented artists. Those who for lack of money, for their gender identity and racial identity were left in the shadows. Always facing the misogyny, racism and classism of all times. 

Next we present you to Rodin's protege, nicknamed "sculptor of horrors". To a painter who fought against the racism of a famous American newspaper. And a poet who was the same painter and fighter against the currents of resounding failures.

Edward Mitchell Bannister (Canada, 1828)


He was born in Saint Andrews, New Brunswick and moved to New England at the end of the 1840 decade. There he would remain all his life. He was admired within the wide artistic world of the East Coast. In addition, he won a bronze medal for his oil Under the Robles at the Universal Exhibition of Philadelphia of 1876. However, he fell into oblivion because of racial prejudice.

He was known as Bannister and began his official career as an artist when an article by 1867 in the New York Herald decried them. The text said: "Black appreciates art, but is unable to produce it." However, with the rise of the civil rights movement of 1970, his work was reinvindicated.

Over the course of his career, Bannister was influenced by the paintings inspired by the William Morris Hunt School of Barbizon. His work is classified within the movement of the Tonalismo. This was an artistic style characterized by landscape paintings with a tone of atmosphere or mist.

Meta Vaud Warrick (United States, 1877)


Meta Vaux Warrick was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His parents were Emma Warrick, an esthetician and William H. Warrick, a barber. His education and artistic influences began at home, due to his father's interest in sculpture and painting.

Her older sister, who later became a beautician like her mother, had an interest in art. Her brother and grandfather entertained her by telling her endless horror stories. This influenced his sculpture, so much that it was known as: "the sculptor of horrors."

Warrick's career started at 1893. When one of his projects was chosen to be included in the 1893 World Colombian Exhibition in Chicago. However, his work grew and matured in Paris, where he studied until 1902.

Influenced by the conceptual realism of Auguste Rodin. Even Warrick was an expert in representing with sensitivity the spirituality of human suffering. So much, that she became Rodin's protege. So much so, that the French artist commented: "My daughter, you are a sculptor, you have the sensation of the shape in your fingers."

Henry Ossawa Tanner (United States, 1859)


He was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He painted green landscapes, zoo animals and biblical themes. At 1880, Tanner began two years of formal study with Thomas Eakins at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. There, he was the only African-American.

Time after, at 1890, Joseph C. Hartzell organized an exhibition of Tanner's works in Cincinnati. No painting was sold. Then, Hartzell bought the collection, do you remember Van Gogh ?.

Subsequently, in 1891 he traveled to Paris, in the city of light, he lightened his palette. He favored blue and bluish green and began to manipulate light and shadow to obtain a dramatic and inspiring effect.

Although there is not much talk about these three African-American artists, their work will remain, in a legacy full of struggle and dignity for the inclusion of art and artists.